Animal liability insurance provides you with liability coverage if your dog were to bite/injure another person and they sue you for their injuries. If you do not have animal liability coverage on your homeowners insurance policy, or on a separate liability policy, you will be the one stuck paying the legal fees and settlements out of your own pocket. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost per animal liability claim was $37,339 in 2016 in Florida (ranked the second highest in U.S.). They also go on to say there are about 4.5 million people bitten by dogs each year, and over half of these injuries occur within the household.
If you are like myself, I love my furry, four legged friends and am confident in the training I have provided to my own dogs. I, and possibly yourself, may have once said ‘my dog would never bite someone’ or ‘my dog wouldn’t hurt a fly’. Unfortunately, we cannot say with certainty that every situation our dogs are put in, whether they feel threatened or scared, that they will not react and end up biting someone. This is why we offer animal liability coverage for these unforeseen circumstances.
Often times, animal liability coverage is offered in your homeowners insurance policy with limits of $25,000 or $50,000. Keep in mind, most home insurance carriers do have a breed restrictions list stating certain breeds are excluded from receiving liability coverage(typically Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Germain Shepard, etc.). If your dog is on the breed restriction list, you can still purchase a separate stand-alone animal liability policy. Also, be sure to consult with your homeowners insurance agent to see if your carrier has a breed restriction list and if your dog is on it. Some homeowners carriers will allow you to have a restricted breed in the household, however they will not provide any liability coverage in the case there is a claim involving the dog. Other carriers may find this to be too big of a risk and issue a cancellation or non-renewal notice for the homeowners policy.
In closing, when considering animal liability coverage, we would encourage you to say yes! For only $25-$50 per year added to your homeowners insurance, you would receive the peace of mind knowing you won’t be paying for the $37,000 claim. Please contact us at Wren Insurance Agency for additional information and any questions you may have.
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