According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowner insures paid over $796.8 million as a result of 17,802 dog bite claims in 2019. We would like to briefly go over what happens if your dog were to bite someone and of course, how to prevent a dog bite claim.
What Would Happen If My Dog Bit Someone?
Homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy includes liability coverage which will likely cover you for the damages. Keep in mind, some insurance carriers do not offer liability coverage for specific dog breeds. They also may offer some, but limit the amount of coverage available. Talk to your agent about what breeds may not be covered. If you are not covered, you would have to pay out of pocket for the damages caused by your dog. If your insurance provides coverage it is likely your insurance premium will increase at renewal or you could even be dropped from your insurance carrier.
How to Lower Your Risk for a Dog Bite Claim
Don’t ever assume your dog won’t bite someone.
You can have the sweetest dog on the planet, but you still can’t make the assumption that your dog won’t bite. Watching your dog’s behavior around strangers or even family and friends is crucial. Never leave your dog alone with children who might cause the dog to nip if harassed or injured.
If you adopt a pet, do your research
What should you know about your breed’s common behavior? Ask several questions with the adoption agency. Have they noticed specific behaviors you should be aware of? Understanding what triggers your dog’s aggression or what makes them uncomfortable can save you from a dog bite claim down the road.
Know The Signs Your Dog May Be Uncomfortable, Anxious or Aggressive
Dog bites are common in these scenarios. Dogs may react to such things as taking away their food or a toy or even touching them while eating.
- Aggressive Stiff tail, intense stare, growling, hair up on back.
- Uncomfortable/anxious Pulled back ears, tucked tail, no eye contact, lowered head or body
Get some training
Whether you are a dog owner or someone who doesn’t own a dog, being around a dog with good behavior is ideal. Obedience training can benefit any dog.
Socialize Your Dog
When your dog is around other dogs and people, it can help them work through any anxieties they may feel.
Be Extra Aware Around Children
This goes back to our number one answer, don’t assume your dog will never bite. If your dog is around children they aren’t familiar with, watch for signs of your dog being uncomfortable.
Get Your Pet Spayed or Neutered
This can help with a dog’s aggression.
Being a dog owner can bring so much happiness into your life. Use these tips to worry less about your dog biting a loved one or a stranger. For questions about your homeor renters insurance policy and what coverages are available for dogs, contact us! We can go over your current policy or even find you a different insurance carrier who may be a more ideal fit for pet ownership.