Insurance Against Bites & Other Injuries Caused by Your Dog

Dog Bite Insurance Might Sound Odd but It Offers Dog Owners Liability Protection

A walk through almost any neighbourhood would provide sufficient evidence that there is indeed no shortage of people who have a genuine fondness for dogs; many homeowners are also dog owners, often seen walking their canine companions along the sidewalk or through the park, while others merely take delight in petting and playing with the dogs owned by family or friends.

And although the vast majority of dog owners take such a responsibility quite seriously, training/working with their dogs to behave in a friendly, respectful, and non-aggressive manner, there will always be some degree of unpredictability with their pet’s disposition. Whether through provocation, inborn defensiveness, or perhaps a matter of illness, even the best-behaved dog can react negatively and bite/injure someone outside their family.

Of course, there are several steps that dog owners can take to restrict any aggression or aggressive tendencies in their pet’s behaviour; these actions include:

  • Enroll the dog in professional obedience classes
  • Keep the dog on a leash/tether whenever it is outside
  • Consider putting a muzzle on the dog when it is in public
  • Do not leave the dog unattended around children/non-family
  • Keep strangers and visitors to the home shielded from the dog
  • Discourage/avoid playing aggressive games (tugging) with the dog
  • Have dog spayed or neutered (lessens likelihood of aggression/biting)

It would be important to note however, that legislation in Ontario states that dog owners are responsible for any injuries inflicted on other people or animals by their dogs. This essentially means that the affected parties can seek compensation for such damages as out-of-pocket medical expenses and loss of income due to injury (unless it can be clearly proven that the dog was provoked into attacking).

And for any dog owners that may deem this to be an unnecessary and frivolous expense, consider the Humane Society of Canada’s estimate that someone in the country suffers a dog bite every 60 seconds (more than half a million people per year). Furthermore, data from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program indicates that:

  • About one-third of all reported dog bites occur at the dog owner’s home
  • Roughly 30% of dog bites/attacks involve children age five to nine years
  • More than 40% of these bites/attacks result in injuries to the face or neck

Consequently, dog owners should ensure that their homeowner’s insurance has adequate liability coverage and protection for any bites and other types of personal injuries caused by their pets; for want of a better description, they need to have dog bite insurance.

Although most home insurance policies will include liability coverage (often $1 Million), it would be advisable for any dog owners to speak with an experienced insurance broker at Petley-Hare Limited to review their policy and ensure that sufficient coverage is in effect.

Consult with a Broker about Dog Bite Coverage in Your Home Insurance Policy

Dog Bite Coverage

In the same way that all home insurance policies are tailored to specific coverage needs, the incorporation of dog bite insurance should also be customized to the individual dog or dogs within the household. Factors that can influence the annual premiums for such coverage could include:

  • Dog size
  • Dog breed
  • Past behaviour
  • Obedience training
  • Any history of attacks
  • Other types of formal training

It should also be noted that some insurance providers may charge larger premiums just on the basis that a breed has been identified as more dangerous/higher risk even though the specific dog in question has no history of violent or injurious attacks.

Whatever the circumstances (and breed of dog), it would be advisable for dog owners to consult with the experts at Petley-Hare Limited to determine the best dog bite insurance coverage for their needs within their home insurance policy; subsequently, Petley-Hare’s professionals will investigate various providers to find that coverage at the best possible rate.

To learn more about dog bite liability and why this should be adequately covered by your home insurance policy, please see our liability section.

Protect yourself from the possible repercussions of a bite or other personal injury caused by your dog. Call the home insurance professionals from Petley-Hare Limited today at 1-800-216-5324 or contact us to arrange a consultation and a review of your existing policy.

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