We all love our wonderful pets, but what liability issues arise when they are under your control. When you consider that dog bites account for one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims, costing $387.20 million in 2008, up 8.70 percent from 2007, underst anding how you are liable becomes an important issue. Read about the three kinds of law that impose liability on owners. Find out which dog breeds insurance companies frown upon. Learn how to live with your pet in harmony, even if you’re allergic to them, and much more.
State Facts: Are You Legally Liable for Your Dog?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs annually, resulting in an estimated 800,000 injuries that require medical attention. With over 50 percent of the bites occurring on the dog owner’s property, the issue is a major source of concern for insurers.
Over the years, many states have passed laws with stiff penalties for owners of dogs that cause serious injuries or deaths. In about one-third of states, owners are “strictly liable” for their dogs’ behavior, while in the rest of the country they are liable only if they knew or should have known their dogs had a propensity to bite (known as the “one free bite” principle).
Pet Insurance: Companies Growl At Certain Dog Breeds
Rottweilers, Akitas, Dobermans — some are more likely to bite, but fans of those breeds say insurers are breed profiling
Those doe-eyed, tail-wagging pooches waiting for new homes may be as loyal as any dog lover could want. But anyone planning to adopt or purchase a dog should beware: Fido or Fifi could be a killer when it comes to homeowner liability insurance.
Based on the dog-bite claims they see, insurers feel that some breeds are a poor risk. It’s a trend that began about 10 years ago, at around the same time as statistics were released showing that pit bulls, Rottweilers and German shepherds were responsible for more than half the dog bite fatalities in the U.S. over a 19-year period. Despite opposition from consumers, many insurance companies still maintain a will-not-cover breed blacklist. The list varies from company to company, according to Loraine Lacey, president of Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Orange County, depending on each company’s experience.
Dog Bite Liability
Most dogs are friendly, loving members of the family, but even normally docile dogs may bite when they are frightened or when protecting their puppies, owners or food.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs annually, resulting in an estimated 800,000 injuries that require medical attention. More than 50 percent of dog bites occur on the dog owner’s property, and they account for one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims.
Allergies To Pets
Learn to live with your pet in harmony, even if you’re allergic to them
The benefits of having a pet usually outweigh the drawbacks of pet allergies for many people. You’d be surprised to know how many people, with non-life-threatening allergies, live with pets despite having allergies to them!
It’s not you, it’s me
Any and all cats and dogs may cause reactions for people who are allergic to animals. Cats tend to cause more reactions than dogs for allergic people, although some people are more sensitive to dogs than cats. Contrary to popular belief, there are no “non-allergenic” breeds of dogs or cats; even hairless breeds may cause symptoms.