Plapp Insurance Services

Homeowner's Claims are Going to the Dogs

Apr 9, 2015

Dog's aren't just the family pet or your best friend these days...they have become a major source of liability to homeowners

Luckily, most homeowner's policies cover dog bits within personal liability coverage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 1996 insurance companies paid more than $1 billion in homeowner's and renter's insurance claims resulting from those canine's canines.

Every year, about 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs and about 334.000 of them end up in the emergency room, according to a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It's important that people realize that there are things they can do to reduce the chance their dogs will become aggressive toward other people.

For example, give the dog a "quiet retreat" where it can go to relax undisturbed. A nice doghouse in the back yard will do the trick. Anyplace out of the way, even a crate in a secluded part of the house will work. Once you have that place established, teach your children and others not to bother the dog.

Here are some other helpful hints from Plapp. If you see any children teasing you dog, intervene and take time to explain to them the dangers of their behavior. When the dog is outside, keep it on a leash or behind a fence. Don't encourage roughhousing with the dog, because the animal might not understand what is "too far." Another tip is to teach your dog to be sociable by taking it on a leash near areas where children are playing and making noise. Soothe and per the dog, let him know that this is a normal part of life.

Our final tip: talk to your insurance agent about your homeowner's or renter's coverage. If you own a dog, you should find out whether an attack by your animal would be covered under your policy, and what the limits are.

Dog bites are becoming so frequent that some insurers won't cover pets with a bad temperament or a history of biting. Also, some breeds of dogs like pit bulls or wolf hybrids might not be insurable. Pet owners should take the time to find out more about their coverage.

For more information about our coverage, please call us or contact us using our contact form.

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