Homeowners insurance usually includes dog liability cover. If you have dog homeowners insurance, this is the insurance to protect you in case your dog bites someone and you get sued by the victim. However you need to check specifically with your insurance company because many of them have exclusions for dogs or they exclude particular breeds of dogs.
Many insurance companies exclude certain breeds such as American Pit Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Terriers, Akitas, Chow Chows, Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers and Rottweilers. If you have one of these breeds of dog, or indeed another breed that is not covered by your homeowners insurance, then you should look into canine liability insurance.
If you have homeowners insurance but it is not dog homeowners insurance, i.e. there is no cover for any type of dog, then your insurance company may still offer you liability insurance for your dog under an umbrella policy.
Umbrella liability insurance is usually an additional insurance policy that allows you to cover things that are not within your current policy. This means you will need to have homeowners insurance and/or auto insurance at a certain value of coverage as the primary policy and then you can add an umbrella policy to cover liability of your dog.
An umbrella liability policy will cost more than dog homeowners insurance alone but if you can’t otherwise obtain a dog homeowners insurance policy then it is a good option.
When you are speaking to your insurance company you should also find out how much cover your dog homeowners insurance offers. Most policies offer a minimum of $100,000 cover but if you have a medium sized dog it is more appropriate to have cover of at least $300,000. If you can afford it, or you have more to lose, you will probably want to consider dog liability cover of $1,000,000. It is usually still an affordable amount per year and can give you peace of mind if your dog ever bites someone.
It seems unthinkable that your cute little puppy could ever bite someone, especially since you’re training him and he is good-natured but sometimes a dog can bite out of loyalty to you. When I was a child a tradesman came onto our property to do some maintenance on the house and our family dog thought the man was coming towards my brother who was a baby at the time. Our beautiful dog lunged at the man and his teeth made contact with his arm. The teeth only barely broke the man’s skin but it was still a dog bite and it was completely out of character for our well-mannered family dog. This is why it is important to obtain and continue an appropriate policy under dog homeowners insurance or other cover.
If your dog homeowners insurance coverage is too low you can ask about excess coverage. An excess policy allows you to increase the policy limit for losses that are already covered in the primary policy of insurance.
As much as we love our dogs they are still dogs with animal instincts, no matter how much we train them. It is important to check your dog homeowners insurance and make sure it is valid for your dog. If it is not valid, investigate canine liability insurance.