Dog bites are unfortunately a common occurrence in the United States, with over 4.5 million dog bites reported each year. When a dog bite happens, the victim may require medical treatment which can become costly. This leads many people to wonder – does insurance cover injuries from dog bites? The answer is, it depends on the type of insurance and policy details.
If the dog bite happens on the property of a homeowner or renter who has insurance, their policy may provide some coverage. Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability, meaning they pay for injuries if the policyholder’s dog bites someone. Policies usually pay for the victim’s medical bills as well as any legal fees or settlement costs if the victim sues. Coverage amounts and exclusions vary, so policyholders should check their details.
Most homeowners and renters insurance policies include liability coverage, which can help pay for medical bills and other expenses if your dog bites someone. Liability coverage limits typically range from $100,000 to $300,000, but you can purchase higher limits if needed.
However, the home or rental insurance policy would not pay for injuries if the policyholder is bitten by someone else’s dog. The dog owner’s liability insurance would apply in that case.
If the dog that caused the bite has pet insurance that includes liability coverage, it may cover injury costs. This depends on the specifics of the policy. Some pet insurance plans only cover veterinary care for the pet dog itself, while others include third-party liability. Pet liability insurance can kick in whether the policyholder’s dog bites someone else or if someone else’s dog bites the policyholder.
Also consider these pointers:
Some insurance companies have breed-specific exclusions or limitations. Breeds that are perceived as more aggressive or dangerous, such as Pit Bulls or Rottweilers, may be excluded or result in higher premiums.
The liability coverage in your homeowners insurance policy may have limits. It’s essential to review your policy to understand how much coverage is available in case of a dog bite incident. Typically, coverage ranges from $100K to $300K.
If your dog has a history of biting or aggressive behavior, it may be challenging to obtain coverage. Some insurance companies may refuse to insure your home if you have a dog with a known history of aggression.
If you own a dog and are concerned about potential liability, you might want to consider purchasing an umbrella insurance policy. This can provide extra coverage beyond the limits of your homeowners policy.
For the victim of a dog bite, their own health insurance may pay for some of the medical treatment. Health insurance policies typically cover emergency room visits, hospitalization, and other costs stemming from an injury like a dog bite. However, the patient will likely need to pay deductibles and copays. Also, workers’ compensation insurance may cover costs if the dog bite happened on the job.
If your dog bites someone, it’s essential to take the following steps:
Dog bite victims may have to tap into several insurance policies to cover their injury costs. While homeowners and rental insurance may pay for some damages and liability, pet insurance and health insurance can also provide compensation. To fully protect themselves, homeowners should consider getting liability coverage, while pet owners may opt for pet insurance with liability coverage.