According to the Humane Society, about 39 percent of all households in the United States have at least one dog. While dogs make genuine companions, irreplaceable playmates for children, and loyal protectors, they can also sometimes pose some difficulty when it comes to home insurance.
The truth is many state laws hold pet-owners accountable for the actions of their dogs. If someone who has a legal right to be at a property is bitten by a dog (for example, a mailman, a neighbor, or an invited guest), then the owner is, in many states, wholly responsible for paying for the treatment of the resulting injuries. It is because of this fact that the ownership of some dog breeds—those thought to be especially dangerous—make it challenging to find a home insurance policy.
Are insurers right to be concerned? They definitely are. According to a 1996 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 4.7 million people are bitten annually by dogs. That means 2 percent of the entire U.S. population runs afoul of Fido each year. About 800,000 of these bites were thought to be grave enough to justify medical attention. With the increasingly high cost of medical care these days, it’s easy to understand why insurers have become wary of insuring particular dangerous breeds.
Which breeds have insurers fleeing? The usual suspects include pit bull terriers, Rottweilers, German shepherds, Akitas, Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Chow Chows, and Doberman Pinschers. If you are a homeowner and keep one of these breeds, no matter how cute and affectionate your individual dog may be, you may still be dealing with a heavier home insurance premium than others in your neighborhood.
It is usually recommended that you purchase a home insurance policy with a clause covering injury by dogs or other animals to ensure that you, as the homeowner, are able to pay the suitable amount of costs in the event that your dog hurts someone. Seeing as how most dog bite injuries are inflicted on friends, relatives or neighbors of the homeowner, this also guarantees that the people closest to you are taken care of in the event of an unexpected dog attack.
The best way to prevent having to file a dog bite claim on your home policy, of course, is to prevent dog bites. Dog ownership is a huge responsibility, so make sure you train your dog correctly, get your furry friend spayed or neutered, and train your children in the proper way to behave around animals. If you have company over often, you may even want to invest in a muzzle to make sure they are safe from an passionate pet.
The Magill Agency has been offering insurance for Western Oklahoma since 1971. We serve Weatherford, Clinton, Elk City, Oklahoma City and all areas of Oklahoma. We are a Trusted Choice Agency and member of the Independent Insurance Agencies of Oklahoma as well as many other state and community organizations. Contact us today at 1-800-878-7105 for a free Weatherford Home Insurance quote.