Does my renters insurance protect against my dog biting someone or another dog?

UPDATED: Jun 20, 2015

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Asked June 20, 2015

1 Answer

Renters insurance is a special type of home insurance that does not cover the dwelling or other structures, but does provide protection against theft, loss, and any liability claims you may be responsible for. Where a dog bite is concerned, some policies may cover a dog bite while others do not.

The problem with a dog bite is that there are two types of risk involved. The bodily injury from the bite is the first risk, and there is no way to know ahead of time how serious the bite may be. The second type of risk is that there is a high risk of lawsuits related to dog bites, and the civil litigation could turn out to be much higher than your renters insurance is able to cover, if it covers the attack at all.

Read your policy carefully. If dog bites are covered under the policy, it will be listed in the policy. Some policies may include coverage for some breeds, but will not cover dog bites by others. Most insurance companies keep a list of dogs that they will exclude from coverage, and if your dog is one of those on the list, then any bites or other damages the dog causes will not be covered.

If your insurance company does not cover your dog, you may need to pick up an insurance policy written specifically for your pet. As with a home insurance policy, some types of dog may be excluded from coverage for attacks, so make sure that your dog is covered before you purchase the policy.

Some home insurance providers will not insure your home if you have a dangerous breed of dog at all. For those companies the risk of a dog bite, and the high costs associated with dog attacks, including litigation, increase the risks beyond what the insurer is willing to cover. Most companies will insure the home but exclude the dangerous dog breed, but others simply refuse to underwrite the renter at all, considering the possibility of a dog bite to be too much of a risk to even take a chance on you.

Answered June 21, 2015 by Anonymous

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