Who let the dogs out?

Dogs are widely considered as man’s best friend. Furry, friendly and fun. But don’t try telling that to your insurance agent. Instead of man’s best friend, canines are viewed as a claim waiting to happen. Unfortunately for homeowners, insurance companies have the data to back it up: More than one-third of all liability claims are dog-bite related.

-The average cost paid for dog-related claims is $37,000
-In 2017, homeowners insurers paid over $686 million in liability claims for dog related injuries
-More than 50% of dog bites occur on the dog owner’s property

As a dog owner, your responsibility will vary by state and in some cases by municipality. A homeowners or renters insurance policy will usually cover dog bite liability and legal expenses, but make sure to confirm with your insurance company. In some cases, companies may exclude coverage for dogs of certain breeds or that have a record of previous attacks.

The Insurance Information Institute states that there are three kinds of law that impose liability on owners:

1. A dog-bite statute: The dog owner is automatically liable for any injury or property damage the dog causes without provocation.
2. The one-bite rule: The dog owner is responsible for an injury caused by a dog if the owner knew the dog was likely to cause that type of injury—in this case, the victim must prove the owner knew the dog was dangerous.
3. Negligence laws: The dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because the dog owner was unreasonably careless (negligent) in controlling the dog.

The following breeds are most commonly blacklisted by insurance companies:

1. Wolf-hybrids
2. Siberian Huskies
3. Alaskan Malamutes
4. Akitas
5. Presa Canarios
6. Great Danes
7. Chows
8. German Shepherds
9. Rottweilers
10. Doberman Pinschers
11. Pit Bulls
12. Staffordshire Terriers

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