Check Your Policy to Find Out if Your Dog is Covered
You might have had your home insured with the same insurance company for the last 15 years, but if you have one or more dogs, don’t just assume that you’re covered for any bites or damage they might cause. Check with your insurance agent to find out whether you’re indeed covered and what the coverage consists of. Maybe you were covered at one time, and maybe you aren’t now. Maybe your insurance company doesn’t even know that you have a dog.
Personal injury and property damage
Most standard homeowners policies may provide coverage if a pet damages someone else’s property, but not necessarily your own home. If your dog bites another person, and a claim is made under your homeowners insurance, that’s a bodily injury claim. If your dog bites another dog or otherwise damages the property of somebody else, that’s a property damage claim.
Am I covered?
You’ll want to contact your insurance agent to find out whether you’re covered for any personal injury or property damage caused by your dog. Although a member of your family, but not human, you might have to add Fido’s risk to your policy.
Your other alternative might be to talk to your agent about umbrella coverage. Typical umbrella insurance coverage starts at a policy limit of $1 million. It’s surprisingly inexpensive for homeowners with a good claims history. Beyond $1 million of coverage, incremental $1 million amounts cost about $100 per year.
Be on the safe side, and contact your insurance agent to confirm that you’re covered for dog bites or damage. If not, update your coverage, or talk to your agent about umbrella coverage. Recognize the same risks that your insurer considers.