Preventing Dog Bites and Homeowners Insurance Increases
Most people never think their dog will actually bite someone. But if it happens, you may end up paying for the medical bills to treat the person that your dog bites. You may also end up paying more for your homeowners’ insurance.
How you do prevent dog bites and subsequent homeowners insurance increases?
- Make sure you are protecting yourself against being liable for a dog bite. Most communities require that dog owners keep the dog(s) contained or under control, either in a fenced yard or on a leash.
- You should have the dog(s) listed on your insurance (homeowners or renters) policy so you are covered in case of a bite. The cost of having your dog(s) on your homeowners or renters policy doesn’t add much to the premiums, but rates can be breed-specific, so be clear and truthful with your insurance provider.
- Ensure that your dog(s) are healthy and current on all shots. Have documentation to prove it.
But if your dog bites someone on your property, there may be laws protecting people who have entered your property. In Pennsylvania, specifically, state law designates three different levels of protection for people on your property:
- A person invited onto the property by the homeowner has the highest level of legal protection
- A “licensee” like a utility worker or door-to-door salesperson is given the middle level of protection.
- A trespasser has the lowest amount of protection under Pennsylvania state law.
But under any circumstance victims should receive prompt and adequate medical attention so that infections cannot set in on the wound(s).
To avoid problems with your homeowners’ insurance, it would be wise to ask your insurance agent before you take a particular breed of dog into your home.
Contact us with any questions regarding your homeowners or pet insurance!