Am I covered if my dog bits someone

If you have bought a house or purchased renter’s insurance in the past, you may have received this question from your insurance agent or insurance company.

Do you have any pets?

Many people are thrown off by this question and want to know why they are being asked it.

The quick answer is because the insurance company is going to have to pay under your liability coverage if the animal causes bodily injury or property damage to someone else. But, let us dive a little further into it.

Why the insurance company’s want to know what pets you have?

Insurance companies want to know the type of pets you have for two reasons, coverage concerns and underwriting reasons.

Coverage

Home or Renter’s insurance policies will have personal liability coverage built into your policy.  One of the biggest risks of claims is injuries to others caused by your pets, specifically dogs or other exotic animals.

The insurance company or agent will want to know so they can determine what is the right coverage for you and what you are eligible for.

Underwriting

Insurance company’s underwriter every risk they insure. They set guidelines of what animals that they are comfortable with and agents and other company employees are required to follow those guidelines.

When determining if a risk is eligible, they might ask the following

  • Do you have any pets
  • How many
  • What kind/breed
  • Do they have any history of biting

All of these are important to determine if you are eligible for coverage through that specific insurance company.

Some insurance companies have limitations on the number of pets you can have or others will have exclusions for some specific breeds.

Why are some dogs not eligible for coverage

The number one complaint we get surrounding this topic is why am I not eligible for coverage because of my dog.

As mentioned, each insurance carrier will have there own underwriting rules determining which dogs are eligible.

The most frequent one we see being on this list are pitbulls.

Due to the claim data that insurance company’s have, pitbulls cause significantly more damage when biting someone leading to larger insurance claims.

Do I need to tell the insurance company about my dog?

When buying insurance for the first time on your house or your apartment, it is important to make sure you do not lie to them.

Lying on the insurance application will be grounds for claim denial. So you must answer every question truthfully.

Every insurance company is different when it comes to Pets. It is important to talk about your situation especially if you have a specific animal that you want to get or already have, to make sure the coverage is available.

Our agency has even insured homeowners who had pet donkeys before.

While you are going through the process of finding new insurance, make sure you are using an independent insurance agent who can provide options for you.

If you don’t know an agent or want a review of your insurance?

Click below to learn more about how to proceed.

 

Mike Crowley

Hi I'm Mike! I am the Vice President of Crowley Insurance Agency. I am here to help any way I can. Please reach out and contact me for anything you need and be sure to connect with us on social as well :)

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