When will homeowners insurance cover a dog bite?
Below are situations when homeowners insurance can help cover the costs associated with a dog bite
When your dog bites a guest
If your dog bites a guest in your home and they’re injured, your medical payments coverage can help pay for things like an ambulance and first aid. If the injury is severe, liability coverage can help pay for their more extensive medical bills. And if you and the guest have a dispute and they take you to court over the matter, your liability coverage can help pay for legal fees.
When your dog bites someone away from your home
Homeowners insurance generally covers dog bites on and off your property, like if your dog bites someone at the park. However, you should check your policy to make sure it doesn’t specifically limit your coverage to dog bites that happen on your premises.
When your dog damages someone else’s property
If you take your dog to your friend’s house and your pup tears apart their new fancy sofa, liability coverage can help pay for the property damage.
When won’t homeowners insurance cover dog bites?
Whether or not you’ll be covered if your dog bites someone largely depends on your insurance company. Below are some situations when you wouldn’t be covered for a dog bite.
History of biting
Once your dog has bitten someone, it’s deemed high risk. This could lead to an increased homeowners insurance premium when it’s time to renew your policy or might exclude your dog from coverage. In the worst case scenario, your homeowner’s insurance policy could be rejected for renewal altogether.
Certain breeds may also be excluded from some homeowners insurance policies if companies consider them higher risk. Below are some dog breeds that may be excluded from coverage.
Any wolf breeds
Make sure to look out for caveats in your policy — some insurance companies might still include your dog in coverage if it’s completed a certain amount of training.
Some states ban dog breed discrimination
Dog advocacy groups are working on getting breed discrimination banned. Illinois, Nevada, and New York have all passed legislation that bans insurers from preventing coverage due to dog breed.
If your dog bites you or a resident of your household
Liability coverage and medical expenses coverage does not protect you or residents of your home from injury