Our fur babies bring us so much comfort, love, and happiness. But sometimes the sweetest fur baby can be a bit overprotective and cause an injury to someone. If you dog bites a visitor, or someone walking by, will your homeowners insurance cover it?
The answer is...maybe.
Homeowners insurance may cover damages resulting from dog bites through the liability or medical payments coverage portions of your home insurance policy.
Liability coverage. If your dog bites someone on your property, your homeowners insurance liability coverage may pay for the victim's medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Medical payments coverage pays for the medical bills of someone who is injured on your property, regardless of fault. This coverage can be helpful if your dog bites someone and they need to go to the hospital. It will pay for the medical bills of someone who is injured on your property, regardless of fault.
Some insurance companies may exclude coverage for dog bites, or only cover bites that occur on your property. You may have to pay a higher premium if you own a dog, or your insurance carrier may exclude coverage for certain dog breeds.
It is important to read your homeowners insurance policy carefully to see if dog bites are covered. If you are not sure, you should contact your insurance agent to ask.
Here are some additional things to keep in mind about homeowners insurance and dog bites:
Your homeowners insurance will not cover dog bites that happen off of your property, unless you have a rider that specifically covers off-premises dog bites. So if your dog gets out of the backyard, or comes off of his/her leash when you are walking together, the resulting injury may be excluded.
Your homeowners insurance will not cover dog bites that happen to you, your family members, or your guests if the dog is owned by one of you.
If your dog has a history of biting, your insurance company may exclude coverage for future bites.
You may be able to purchase pet liability insurance to cover dog bites that are not covered by your homeowners insurance.
Make sure to talk to your agent as soon as possible to make sure that you have coverage. If you don't, then ask for an endorsement/rider. If that isn't an option, talk with your agent about alternatives. An independent insurance agent will have other markets to protect you and your fur baby.