What is Dog Bite Insurance?

Jacob Queen

Dog bite insurance is typically a part of a home insurance policy, although sometimes it can also be purchased separately. The basic idea behind dog bite insurance is to generally protect the dog owners from any liability if their dog bites someone. In many cases, liability in a dog bite case can be very expensive to the point where the average person may not be able handle the costs, and insurance helps safeguard against becoming bankrupt in those situations.

Dog owners are legally liable for bite injuries inflicted by their dogs.
Dog owners are legally liable for bite injuries inflicted by their dogs.

Some home insurance policies include dog bite insurance as part of the package automatically. In other cases, an individual may have to ask for it specifically. In the latter situation, dog bite insurance may increase premiums significantly. If a person’s dog ever bites anybody and the insurance company is forced to pay, the company may increase the cost of the insurance or even cancel the policy for fear of future occurrences.

Sometimes the price of dog bite insurance can also depend on the breed of the dog in question. Breeds with a reputation for aggressive behavior can sometimes require owners to pay more. In other cases, insurers may even refuse to cover people who own dogs of certain breeds. This can lead to a situation where it is important for owners to read the fine print on their policy. It is considered relatively common for people to believe they have dog bite insurance when their breed isn’t actually covered under the policy.

Insurers have taken precautions about dog bite insurance because dog attack claims are generally so common and so expensive. Some experts estimate that more than a quarter of all home insurance claims are somehow related to dog bites. Depending on the severity of the injury, these claims often require the insurers to pay for significant medical costs and compensate people for loss of income and other things. The combination of all these costs makes dog bite liability one of the more costly things that home insurance companies have to pay for.

In some cases, when people own breeds prohibited by many polices or face other circumstances where their insurance companies won’t cover them, they may have to pursue other options. There are companies devoted to offering insurance specifically for dog bites, and they are generally much less restrictive about their policies than home insurance companies. These companies generally realize that only people with more dangerous dogs are likely to purchase insurance from them, so the policies are normally more costly than getting insured through a home insurance plan.

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