A dog is a man’s best friend. Loyal and compassionate, they’re the best companion someone could get. But just because they’re friendly doesn’t mean bad they can’t misbehave.
Biting is one of a dog’s nature. No matter how friendly a dog may look, if they’re in a situation where they feel fear or become frustrated, they will instinctively try and bite to protect themselves. Yes, you can train your dog so they won’t bite other people, but it’s still probable that your dog may bite another person with you not knowing.
Benefits of a dog bite insurance
A dog’s bite insurance, also known as dog bite liability, is an insurance you can get so you are covered if your dog bites someone. So what are the benefits of a dog bite insurance? What would be the reasons why you would want insurance for your dog’s bite?
- Personal liability coverage – if your dog bites someone and they file a lawsuit against you for damages, it can cover legal expenses related to the incident. Expenses like the legal counsel, the plaintiff’s legal expense, and the reward if they win the suit.
- Medical liability coverage – like the previous benefit, this coverage covers all the medical expenses related to the victim if ever your dog seriously hurt him/her. Even if the victim chose not to sue you, he or she may still need some expensive medical treatment and your insurance will pay for that.
- It allows you to save your fund – having insurance is simple, and you can save a lot of money. It allows you to keep your emergency fund even if something terrible happens as it can just be reimbursed right after you used it.
These are just some of the benefits you can get from getting a dog bite insurance. It gives you an ease of mind knowing that your insurance can and will cover the expense you will pay for. Be careful though as not all can be reimbursed if your insurer can prove it was unlawful.
You also need to know when you’re going to be liable. Different areas follow different laws, and they’re mostly classified into three(3):
- One-bite rule – If it’s the dog’s first bite, then you will not be held responsible. But all the succeeding bites will make you liable.
- Dog bite statute – Any property damage or physical injuries your dog might make will make you liable, and lastly.
- Negligence laws – You will be deemed liable if it can be proven that you were careless and/or not looking after your dog properly.
Be sure to bear in mind the law concerning dog bites that govern your area. Knowing when you might become liable, enables you to become more prepared for any claims that you will file.
Getting an insurance for dog bites
After reading the different benefits of having a dog bite insurance, you might be wondering where you can get insurance? Well, many homeowner policies include the dog owner’s liability insurance. With this, you can get homeowner insurance from insurers.
But what if your homeowner policy does not offer a dog bite insurance along with it?
- Decide if your comprehensive insurance is sufficient – think whether you have enough extra funds to use if ever your dog does bite somebody and if you trust your dog enough not to bite someone. Do not be too complacent though as all types of dog can and will bite anybody. Any size or breed of dogs can inflict serious damage on someone unlucky enough.
- Umbrella coverage – If your homeowner policy doesn’t cover dog bites, then maybe they could provide you with umbrella coverage. Umbrella coverage is a supplementary coverage. Ask your insurer if they offer umbrella coverage and if it covers canine
- Separate liability insurance – If ever the last two didn’t work on your favor, then you can opt for separate liability insurance. There is a lot of well-known dog owner’s liability insurer that you can get.
You can then combine insurance as you need to. Normally, basic homeowner insurance would cover a dog bite, but in cases where they don’t like to or won’t be able to, then you can get other types of insurance depending on what you need.
What are the things that dictate your insurance quote and premium?
Insurers like to play it safe. They may make you pay more depending on the characteristics your dogs have. Because a lot of people will try to commit fraud, to claim the insurance money, their coverage will depend on the factors surrounding your dog and the dog itself. Here are some of the factors that may affect your premium and insurance quote:
- The type of dog you own. Some insurers might not insure breeds that are deemed aggressive or dangerous.
- The characteristics of the dog such as age and weight of the dog.
- If your dog is vaccinated or not.
- If your dog has been neutered.
- Whether the dog has a history of biting somebody.
- Whether your dog has been trained properly.
- If you live on your own home or you’re renting and.
- If the property you’re living right now is fenced.
These factors can also affect whether your insurer would accept your dog as there’s a lot of dogs who are inherently aggressive; they would like to refrain from insuring those. Thankfully, there are a lot of separate liability insurance that would cover your dog if ever your first insurer doesn’t want to. Just try all the insurance companies that you find and inquire about it.
What is the average dog bite insurance quote?
As previously discussed, a dog bite insurance quote depends on a lot of different factors. But what would be the average insurance quote you could get?
The average insurance quote someone could normally get would range from $100,000 to $300,000. Sometimes it can reach up to $1,000,000, but that’s very unlikely.
With this, you can see that a dog bite insurance would help you if ever you don’t want to use your emergency funds when your dog accidentally bites somebody.
What to do if your dog bit someone?
After your dog has bitten someone, you will file a claim at your insurance regarding the incident so your insurer can properly pay you. But what are the things you need to take care of?
- Documenting everything – anything that you can find that will help prove that you have something to claim from the insurance should be documented. The following are examples of what you can document.
- Photos of the injury the injured got as he might deliberately make his injuries worse.
- The scene where the incident happened.
- A picture of your dog during that time.
- Names of the witnesses and the victim, basically anyone that can testify what happened.
Every little bit of detail counts and will help you file a claim smoothly. The more shreds of evidence you can gather, the better your chances are in being able to get a claim.
- Have the injured person get treated immediately – Even if the injured person only suffered small bruises and injury, take them to a doctor, since even the smallest of injuries may become larger ailments down the line. It’s also a piece of solid evidence for your medical expense coverage and will make your claim process smoother.
Prevent further insurance claims
Sure, you can get insurance and have your dog insured from bites, but that doesn’t mean that you should let your dog bite anyone and anywhere. There are a lot of things for you to do to prevent your dog from biting in the first place. These can help whether you have or do not have insurance for your dog.
- Get a dog that is suitable in your neighborhood or country – If your dog doesn’t like his or her environment, it could lead to stress and aggression.
- Leashing your dog – Leashing your dog whenever you’re walking with him around the neighborhood is the safest way you can control your dog if ever he becomes a little bit aggressive. There’s a lot of people in public areas, and they all might become potential victims for your dog.
- Practice caution – Try to be more careful whenever your dog is in a new situation.
- Train and socialize your dog – You can train your dog so that they will be more comfortable and behaved whenever around other people. The same with socializing your dog. It’s better to start early so they can get used to being around other people and other pets too.
- Educate your children – Since children are naturally drawn to pets, they don’t understand what it’s like to be around dogs. Properly educating your children on what their attitude should be and supervise them if they ever play with your pet dog.
- Spray or neuter your dog – there has been a lot of study regarding dog’s aggressiveness to bite and its correlation with them being neutered. It has been proven that it can reduce your dog’s likeliness to bite. There’s also nothing wrong in getting your dog neutered. It is better if you go for it.
- Know your dog – You as the owner, must know your dog well if something’s making them scared or making them upset. You must know what it is so that you can comfort your dog on what’s making them aggressive.
There is no harm in receiving insurance for your dog. Frankly, it’s better if you get one if you don’t have one at the moment. In the long run, an insurance will help you when the unexpected happens. It provides a lot of assistance, particularly if your dogunexpectedly bites somebody, and you don’t have any extra funds to pay the things that you are liable to.
Even if you aren’t able to use your insurance since your dog didn’t bite anyone, I think it’s still better to be safe and be prepared than to regret not getting one after your dog has bitten off someone. Preparation beats unforeseen accidents, and you will never know when your dog may bite your friends, neighbors, or children.