Liability Insurance Coverage for Dogs
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Is There a Separate Insurance for Dogs?
Separate insurance for dogs is generally not necessary. In most situations, dog bites are covered by your homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy. Homeowners and renters insurance covers dog bites on both sides; the victim’s insurance will protect the victim, and the dog owner’s insurance policy will cover the victim.
However, dog bites may not be covered when a court clears your dog dangerous or it is a specific breed that requires specialty insurance. Separate liability insurance is expensive due to the likelihood of an incident.
What If the Insurance Company Refuses to Pay?
If the insurance company refuses to settle, then the victim may sue both the dog owner and insurance company. Once the lawsuit goes to trial, the insurance company will have to pay all related damages. If a case is won in court, the amount recovered is often much greater than what was discussed during the settlement process.
Can I Get Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are damages in excess of your injuries. These damages are used to punish the dog owner. Most of the time, the courts do not award such damages. Moreover, depending on the state, some insurance policies do not cover punitive damages.
If a dog owner loses in trial and the victim is awarded punitive damages on top of his actual damages, then the insurance company who only need to pay actual damages. To prevent payment of such, some people opt to purchase umbrella insurance to cover their punitive damages.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you suffered injuries from a dog bite, it is best to retain a personal injury lawyer to negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If your dog bit someone, then a lawyer can help you lessen your liability amount.
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Last Modified: 08-23-2016 09:57 PM PDT
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