At Einhorn Insurance, we are often asked if there’s a difference between dog bite insurance and dog liability insurance.
The answer is, no. Dog Bite Insurance and Dog Liability Insurance are the same thing.
The phrase Dog Bite Insurance is often used by those not in the insurance industry. It is the lay version of dog liability insurance (a term generally used by those in the insurance business).
What does dog bite and dog liability insurance cover? These policies cover:
If your dog bites or injures someone or another animal, the “victim” may need medical attention. Medical bills associated with an injury from a dog can be covered by dog bite insurance and dog liability insurance.
In extreme bite cases, people may need surgery to repair the damage. If a child is bit by a dog (especially if the bite is on the child’s face), plastic surgery may be required. In some states, a parent can sue the owner of the dog until the child reaches the age of 18. The logic behind this is that as the child grows, they may need additional plastic surgery (surgeries) and/or suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the event.
Most people think dog insurance claims occur because of bites. This is not always the case. Dogs can cause injuries by scratching with claws or you can trip on a dog or an excited dog can jump up to greet someone and they can fall backward. I was once at a dog park and a dog was running up from behind me. The dog was so focused on chasing a ball and ran right into me. Before I knew it, my legs were up over my head and I was flat on my back. The force of the dog hitting me was so hard, I had the wind knocked out of me and smacked the back of my head on the ground. Fortunately I wasn’t hurt, but this is an instance that could have easily resulted in a dog liability claim.
In the event the injured party hires an attorney, your dog bite insurance and dog liability insurance can cover attorney expenses. Even if you are found innocent, you still pay an attorney to defend you. You can always decide to appeal, but keep in mind that filing an appeal is a drawn out process.
Oftentimes, when someone is injured by a dog, they are unable to work while they’re recovering. We see many cases where a Fed Ex delivery driver or a mail carrier is bit by a dog while on the job and are unable to work for a while due to injury or being traumatized. This individual would need to be compensated for the loss of income.
In recent years, we’re seeing more and more “victims” claiming they have post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the incident and can’t work for longer durations. This usually results in psychological medical expenses and/or lost wages.
What Dog Bite Insurance and Dog Liability Insurance DON’T cover?
Not all dog bite insurance and dog liability insurance policies are created equally. In general, these policies don’t cover:
– Damage to a place you are renting if done by your pet. For example, if your dog pees on the floor or scratches up wood floors, your dog liability insurance won’t cover this.
– If your dog bites someone after being commanded to do so by you. Dogs that are trained to attack are generally excluded from the policy. This is even the case if someone is trespassing on your property and you instruct your dog to attack.
You may also want to see the policy you are getting covers your dog(s):
1. off leash.
2. away from home.
3. out of state (this is important if you travel with your dog).
4. at work.
5. at the dog park.
At Einhorn Insurance, the dog bite insurance and dog liability insurance policy we offer will cover your dog in examples 1-5 listed above.