Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

According to Statista, there are approximately 89.7 million dogs in the United States. While many dogs are lovable cuddle bears, they are still animals and will bite in extreme circumstances. This leaves the question…

Am I covered if my dog bites someone?

Dog Bite Insurance

Most homeowners and renters insurance policies will provide coverage up to your liability limit if your dog bites someone. A typical liability limit is between $100,000 to $500,000. If the judgement is greater than this amount and you do not have an umbrella policy providing more coverage, you will be on the hook for any amount above the liability limit.

 

Be aware that there is no coverage if the dog bites someone that lives in the home.

Are there some dog breeds that insurance won’t cover?

There are some cases where dog bites may be excluded from a homeowners policy. If you own a dog of a certain breed that is dubbed “dangerous”, some insurance companies will not insure your home at all or will require a “dog bite exclusion”. Some breeds that are normally on a list of restricted dogs are:

  • Pit bulls
  • Chows
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Akitas
  • Doberman
  • Presa Canario
  • Wolf Hybrids

 

 

Every insurance carrier is different and will exclude different breeds or will not exclude any at all. 

Will insurance pay medical bills due to a dog bite?

 

Your homeowners policy has coverage specifically for medical payments. This coverage is to pay necessary medical expenses for someone who is injured on your property, including being bitten by your dog. The limit for this coverage is usually between $1000 and $5000. The purpose of this coverage is to reduce the likelihood of a lawsuit. 

What happens to my insurance if my dog bites someone?

 

If your dog has bitten someone before, it poses a much greater risk for the insurance company. If you have insurance at the time of the bite, some insurance carriers will not renew your policy or charge you a higher premium at renewal. If you try to switch insurance companies, you may not be able to get a homeowners policy at all or the dog will need to be excluded. 

If you have more questions about dog bites and insurance or you are looking for a home quote, we would be happy to help! Please click the button below or call us at 615-919-1009. We look forward to serving you!