If you are like many preppers, there is a dog or two, or maybe more, on your property. Maybe they live in your house as a member of the family. Even the yippie little ones are usually good at alerting their owners to an intruder. A well trained dog can be a vital part of a security plan.
On the other hand, dogs bite people. Maybe not your dog. Maybe not yet. They mostly bite children, men, and old people. But, according to the CDC, 4.5 million people get bit by dogs each year. Of those 885,000 get bit seriously enough to require medical attention. If the bite is severe enough to cause large medical bills or death,or the injured sue dog owners, policy holders file claims against their homeowners policy if they have one.
“Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims paid out in 2011, costing nearly $479 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.)”. That is quite a staggering amount of preventable claims. Insurance companies are in the business of gathering money, not spending it.
Since insurance companies do everything they can to reduce risk, they pay attention to trends, including dog bites. The increase in bites over time and the increase of claims has gotten their attention. However, each company is different in its philosophy towards dogs. Each state makes its own laws regarding insurance companies excluding breed specific dogs.
Insurance companies differ in opinion too. If a company denies you coverage or excludes Fido, shop around. Other companies may well not worry about dogs by breed. Or you may be able to buy a rider or separate policy to cover any potential claims. Certainly be sure to read your policy to see if dog bites are covered or specifically excluded in your policy. When reading the policy, pay attention to the dollar amounts of coverage. If someone wins a case against you and your insurance company pays out it’s part, you could be held liable for the rest or the other party might settle for the payout. Or any number of other possibilities could happen in relation to the judgement.
Lastly, do everything you can to prevent dog bites. Make sure your dogs are up to date with their veterinary care and shots. The CDC offers tips on reducing the risk of dog bites. All responsible dog owners need to do everything they can to assure their dogs are controllable and controlled. If they don’t, and the dog bites, there is risk of losing the dog to city, county or state regulations.References: CDC Insurance Information Institute