Millions of families across the United States keep pets in their homes. Many of these animals are dogs. While many dogs are widely loved and admired, dog bites are a different story and a scary reality for some.
The CDC reports that hundreds of thousands of people are injured due to dog bites and require hospital visits and medical attention. When a dog bites someone, the owner is liable and is at risk of being sued. Dog bites account for more than one-third of liability claims on homeowners’ insurance policies.
Continue reading to learn how dog bites can impact your homeowners’ insurance.
What Happens If My Dog Bites Someone?
If you are sued for damages because of your dog biting someone, the good news is that your homeowner’s insurance might help cover your liability. Homeowners’ insurance comes equipped with family liability protection, which is there to assist in the event of unintentional injury or property damage for which you are responsible. In addition to covering damages, it can also help pay for legal representation if someone sues you.
Your responsibility for your dog’s behavior doesn’t end at your property line. If your pup bites someone at the dog park or while you are on a walk, you can still rely on your homeowners’ insurance for coverage. Get a free quote to make sure your beloved pooch is covered.
If your dog bites, it is important to act responsibly. Taking proper steps and precautions can minimize the potential legal risks for you and your pup. Help the victim get medical attention right away. You may want to offer to drive them to emergency care and pay for their medical bills if you can. Always exchange contact information with the individual to allow future communication. Next, contact your homeowners’ insurance to notify them of the incident. Lastly, it is important to cooperate in the investigation if the harmed individual reports your dog to animal services.
Ways to Further Protect Yourself and Your Pup
A few simple precautions can protect you, your dog, and others from painful bites.
- If your dog shows signs of hostility (growls or barks aggressively) to people welcome on your property, seek help from a professional trainer.
- Keep your pooch fenced in.
- Always use a leash when outside your fenced yard.
- If someone is trespassing on your property and is bitten, you can still be held liable. Make sure you place warning signs in visible places to avoid some liability.
- If your dog bites someone and you are being sued, you may want to consider seeking legal counsel and guidance.
- Make sure your pup’s vaccinations are up-to-date.
- Always watch children who are around your pooch.
- Educate family and visitors on aggressive canine body language (tense body, curled lip, visible teeth, growling, etc.).
Contact Bear River Mutual
If you are a homeowner or are currently renting, it is important to protect yourself against liability claims, which also can protect your pooch. Bear River Mutual Insurance wants to help you get covered. Contact our team of professionals today and get dependable protection and coverage with Bear River Mutual.