They’re so cuddly and cute. Dogs are man’s best friends and faithful companions. Some are great for hunting while others make wonderful lap dogs. Still others guard your home and protect your family. However, any dog is capable of biting someone, even if they aren’t fierce or appear dangerous. You need to carry liability home insurance to protect yourself if you own a dog.
Your Liability for a Dog Bite
You’re liable for anything that happens on your property. If someone comes onto your property and gets bit, you could be responsible for their medical bills. You must keep your dog up on its shots so that it won’t need to be quarantined. However, your responsibility doesn’t end there. You’ll also need to have enough insurance to pay for medical costs that are incurred from a dog bite.
You may also be held responsible if you take your dog off your property and it bites a person. Perhaps you’re walking it on a leash in the park or along a sidewalk. If it hurts another person even by accident, you may be deemed liable.
The Cost a Dog Bite
You not only want to make sure to carry home insurance if you own a dog, you need to have enough coverage. A dog bite can be extremely expensive, depending on the situation and size of the dog. A small dog may leave a small cut, which must be treated for infection. However, a larger dog can cause extensive damage, especially if it bites a person’s face.
You may have heard of cases where a child is bitten in the face by a medium to large size dog. They will need to be treated for infection and possibly need multiple surgeries for reconstruction. They might require therapy to deal with the trauma. The care can last for months or even years. The costs can easily be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars or over a million dollars.
An average home insurance policy won’t cover a claim this large. However, it doesn’t let you off the hook. Your insurance company will pay up to their limits, but you’ll be responsible for the rest. You could lose your home and other assets in a lawsuit.
If you own or plan to buy a dog, you need to think about how to protect yourself. Start by getting enough home insurance for the worst-case scenario. This will be different for each person based on the breed of dog they choose. You also need to keep them contained and away from people who may walk by or onto your property.
A kennel or fence with a locked gate can keep people out and your dog in. Even better, you can keep your dog inside your home and on a leash anytime you go outside. Make sure you do your research about the different breeds of dogs and know your ability to handle whatever you choose.