People have shared their homes with dogs for thousands of years. While for many years the average homeowner wasn’t thinking about how their dog impacts their homeowners’ insurance, it should be on the mind of homeowners today. While many of us consider them to be part of the family, the truth is that they are still animals, and under the right circumstances, any dog can bite. You should be prepared in case that ever happens.
If your pet causes a bite that requires medical attention or damages someone else’s property, you could be the target of criminal charges and/or a lawsuit. If the police get involved, your dog could be placed on a dangerous dog list, which could make your address and some of your personal information accessible to the public. That’s not even considering possible medical bills, lost income, property damage, and other costs for which you could be held liable.
Insure Your Property
It’s not hard to cover yourself should the unfortunate happen as most all homeowners’ insurance or renters’ insurance cover such liabilities. Dog bites claims are actually more common than you might think, accounting for about one-third of all homeowners’ insurance claims.
When you buy an insurance policy or decide to switch to a new one, be sure to research or ask about the company’s underwriting rules regarding dogs. Some providers won’t insure households with certain breeds of dog that are perceived to be more aggressive, such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, Akitas, Dobermans and Chows. Each insurance company’s dangerous dog list varies, so you may have to research a few insurance companies before you find a policy that fits both you and your dog. As luck has it, Smith Insurance and Financial Services is an independent insurance agency representing many fine companies, making it possible for us to help you out with that search.
Take Precautions with Pets
Whatever breed of dog you have, they can still have a bad day and lash out. You should do everything that you can to avoid the possibility of ever having a dog bite incident. There are many tactics you can apply to prevent the threat of potential dog bites.
- Spay or neuter your dog
- Train them to listen to commands
- Socialize them with other people and pets
- Keep your dog under control with collar, leash and barriers like fences
- Minimize aggression triggers, such as loud noises, crowds and unfamiliar places
Additionally, if your dog ever shows signs of aggressions, seek professional help. A vet could help identify medical issues that may be causing aggression, such as pain or illness. The vet could also direct you to a dog behavioral specialist if no medical reason can be found for the dog’s unfriendliness.
Kids & Dogs Should Be Supervised
Most kids love dogs, but the affection isn’t always returned and sometimes the consequences of that can be a serious dog bite. About half of all people who required medical attention for a dog bit were children, and most of them were kids between the ages of 5 and 9. Be sure to supervise all interactions between kids and dogs. It’s also best for adults to learn about dog bite prevention and then teach their children about how to be good around their furry friends.
Follow the advice in this article to lessen the risk of having a dog bite incident. Though dog bites that result in serious injury are relatively rare, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You’ll want to be covered on the off-chance that your dog ever bites someone. Get the proper insurance, take appropriate precautions, supervise children around your dog, and you’ll greatly reduce your chances of having a biting incident.