Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2012, costing insurers more than $489 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm.
The average dog bite claim was a whopping $29,752 in 2012, III said.
Most homeowners insurance policies include $100,000 to $300,000 in liability coverage that would protect you if your dog bit someone. But, if the damages from the bite exceeded your liability limit, you’d be responsible for paying the overage, including legal expenses.
And while insurance companies typically cover homeowners with dogs, once your dog bites someone, your premiums might rise, or your insurance company might refuse to continue to cover dog bites. Some companies will require dog owners to sign liability waivers for dog bites. Others will cover a pet if the owner takes the dog to classes aimed at modifying its behavior, III says.
Personal liability coverage, also called an umbrella policy, can offer extra insurance to cover you for dog bite claims.
Be a Responsible Dog Owner
To reduce the chances of your dog biting someone, follow these tips from III:
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