The Bidens’ rescue dog Major has been involved in two biting incidents this year. Major has received additional training since then, but it brings up a good topic -- what happens if your dog bites someone? Does your insurance cover that?
Did you know that most homeowners insurance policies cover dog bites? If you own a dog, you should check your home insurance policy and see if yours does. If it doesn’t, we’re available to discuss and look for the best options to get you protected.
Some home insurance policies contain a dog bite exclusion, but most will defend and settle bodily injury claims the homeowner is liable for, even if you’re away from your home (like out on on a hike). Your pet is your liability, and the average dog bite claim in California is $51,246.
Even if you think your dog won’t bite anyone, you never know, as this article from Burns and Wilcox points out:
Even a consistently mild-tempered dog can have a moment of aggression unexpectedly or when provoked, said Pamela Alphabet, Regional Practice Group Leader, Personal Insurance, Burns & Wilcox, Scottsdale, Arizona. “A dog may not have ever bitten anyone—but it could,” she said. “Homeowners Insurance can help with some of the costs related to a dog bite, but homeowners should consider broad limits to ensure adequate coverage.”
The Bidens say these incidents are out of character for their dog, so it can happen to anyone and any dog.
As the article says, homeowners insurance can help with costs like legal defense, medical bills for the person bit, and other expenses when homeowners are sued from a dog bite incident.
In addition to making sure you’re covered insurance-wise, make sure you’re following local ordinances with your dog. The Town of Mammoth Lakes has recently increased enforcement of the local leash law. No dogs are allowed to be off leash within the Town of Mammoth Lakes. This change was due to an increase in dog related incidents/attacks. Learn more about this change on the code compliance Facebook page.
Curious if your homeowners insurance policy covers incidents like this? Contact us and we can look into your policy for you or set you up with a personal umbrella insurance policy.