All conscientious dog owners make sure their pets eat right, exercise often and visit the veterinarian regularly. They also socialize their doges and educate their children about proper behavior around dogs, which can help prevent dog bites.
Statistics show about 4.5 million dog bites occur annually in the United States, and 20 percent become infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children ages 5 to 9 have the highest rates of dog-bite-related injuries, and men get bitten more often than women.
Dog bites and dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of homeowners insurance liability claims paid in 2015 with an average claim of $37,000, according to an Insurance Information Institute study.
Pet owners shouldn't assume their home-owners or renters insurance safeguards the should their dog bites or attacks someone.
Some insurance providers do not cover certain breeds that they deem to be higher risk; while others will decline coverage or force pet owners to sign a liability waiver for any animal with a history of bites. Not to mention intervention by the Town or City when there are multiple bites by one pet.
Even pet owners who are protected by insurance may find their premiums increase at renewal time of a claim is made; some providers will over commonly prohibited breeds, but with increased costs.
Policy exceptions are almost as important as what the policy covers, read your policy and the exceptions carefully, always notify your insurance carrier in writing before you buy or adopt a dog, it is better to know if there are any know insurance risks before you commit to your new best friend.
You should review your policy or contact your insurance company to find out if you own a prohibited breed, and don't forget to notify your insurance provider before you get a dog, failing to dos o can expose you to liability that could be avoided by timely notifications.
The contents of this article are not to be construed as legal advice or an obligation to act for any particular person. The opinions expressed are those of the author.