Every dog owner must have adequate insurance coverage for accidents that his dog might cause. The size, history and temperament of the dog do not provide exceptions to this rule because even a small dog can leave a permanent scar on the face of a small child. If that child is related to the dog owner and there is no insurance or an inadequate amount of insurance, the accident can destroy a family. Many people who have homeowners insurance or renters insurance are adequately covered, but a huge number are not, because there are policies that exclude accidents involving all animals, all dogs or certain breeds of dog, and there are other polices that impose a lower limit of coverage -- for example, a policy with a $300,000 limit for personal injuries might have a $25,000 limit if the injuries are caused by a dog or other animal.
Every dog owner has to make sure his insurance covers accidents caused by his dog and provides limits that are high enough. There should be at least $100,000 for liability plus $1,000 for no-fault medical payments, but it is better to have at least $300,000 plus $5,000. This can be accomplished with one single policy or a combination of policies. The primary policy can be a homeowners, renters or canine liability policy, and the secondary policy can be an umbrella policy, excess policy or (rarely) both.
Here are guidelines:
- If you cannot get a homeowners (renters) policy, get a canine liability policy.
- If your homeowners (renters) policy does NOT cover accidents caused by dogs, get (a) an umbrella policy because such policies fill the gaps in the homeowners (renters) policy, or (b) a canine liability policy because it covers accidents caused by dogs. When considering an umbrella policy, however, confirm that it provides coverage for an accident caused by your dog because some umbrellas do not.
- If you want an umbrella policy but cannot get one with coverage for accidents caused by dogs, get a canine liability policy.
- If your homeowners (renters) policy DOES cover accidents caused by dogs, but the limit of liability coverage is not high enough, get an umbrella policy or at least an excess policy. It is very inexpensive for even $1 million in coverage.
- If your umbrella policy does NOT provide enough coverage, supplement it with an excess policy.
Canine liability coverage is available from the following companies. The descriptions here have been included for free as a service to the public, and are by the companies themselves, without verification. Mr. Phillips does not endorse or recommend any one company, and does not receive anything of value for listing them here.
Federation of Insured Dog Owners
The Federation of Insured Dog Owners (F.I.D.O.) is a new organization that was launched to offer Covered Canine Liability Insurance Policies for ANY breed of dog. The developers of F.I.D.O. and its unique policy realized a much-needed niche market for a product that provides valuable liability coverage for pet owners at an affordable price.
F.I.D.O.'s Covered Canine Liability Insurance Policy will cover ANY breed of dog and protect pet owners should their dog's bite cause bodily injury. Policies start as low as $75 per year, per dog (plus an annual membership fee to The Federation of Insured Dog Owners) making it unique by offering more coverage than other policies and at a reasonable price. Because any dog can bite and cause injury, most housing communities (apartments, condos, etc.) have provisions for how a dog is to be maintained and insured. F.I.D.O.'s value extends beyond the affordable price by covering any breeds like Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Doberman pinschers, to name a few. The policies are available throughout the USA.
Einhorn Insurance Agency
Most insurance companies will not offer a home, condo, renter, liability or umbrella policy if you own a dog found on their "dangerous" breed list. The "usual suspects" on this list (which vary by insurance company) are Pit Bulls, Staffordshire Terriers, Dobermans, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Chows, Presa Canarios, Akitas, Great Danes, Bull Terriers, Wolf/Wolf Hybrids or any mix of these breeds. Many owners are faced with the following choices: move, find a new home for their beloved family member or try to find an insurance policy that covers their dog.
Even if a dog has a history of aggression, we can help. Our liability policies can meet landlord and Animal Control requirements by adding these entities as an ADDITIONAL INSURED. If your dog has an incident with aggression, they may be placed in quarantine by your local Animal Control. To get your dog home where they belong, Animal Control has a list of conditions you may need to meet. A common condition is for the pet owner to provide a Certificate of Insurance showing $100,000 of liability coverage, the wording "DANGEROUS DOG," and Animal Control listed as an Additional Insured on the policy.
Einhorn Insurance provides home, renter, condo and liability insurance regardless of your dog's breed. As proud Pit Bull owners, we could not imagine having to part with our loyal companion, Bernice. We help keep families together and sympathize with the unfair discrimination that other responsible dog owners face.
Lester Kalmanson Agency, Inc.
Kalmanson can sell insurance throughout the United States. If your homeowner insurance company is threatening to drop you or exclude dog liability from your homeowner policy, Kalmanson might help you in one of two ways, either by writing a new homeowner policy for you that also covers dog liability, or writing a dog liability policy that you can take to your existing homeowner insurance company, which will assure them that they will not be responsible for your dog(s) anymore.
Kalmanson writes a specific policy for each insured -- it is not a form policy. The rates vary like the policy itself. If your dog is powerful and is on the CDC list of dogs that bite, but your dog has not bitten anyone, then expect to pay under $1,000.00 per year for coverage up to $100,000.00, with a deductible of $1,500.00. This will protect you when your dogs are on your premises; the policy language must be consulted for attacks off your premises. The cost is not much greater for two dogs -- you probably will not have to pay double for two. If your dog has bitten someone and is on the CDC list, then expect to pay more than $1,000.00 per year, if you can get insurance at all.
Evolution Insurance Brokers
Also doing business as XINSURANCE.com, Evolution (EIB) is owned by Prime Insurance Company and it offers coverage nationwide. Direct Insureds, agents, and brokers can access the program. We customize coverage for each animal/insured, even with a bite history. Animal Liability is a GROWING market. Many traditional policies now exclude coverage and some carriers will NOT write your homeowners or renters insurance with animals. Feel free to ask us about our free policy review, where we can help point out gaps and exclusions in your current policies to ensure you are protected at home, work, and play.
Our policy can extend to personal liability, commercial liability, and even off-duty police dogs when excluded from the municipalities coverage and landlord protection for tenants with dogs. We offer customizations of our manuscript policy form to meet each insureds needs. Coverage starts as low as $350.00 plus fee and tax, at a base limit of $100,000 in most cases. Rating is based on breed, weight, State, history and other underwriting factors. Can quote any liability within 24 hours. Can also issue Lloyd's paper in all 50 States.
InsureMyK9.com offers liability insurance for every breed of dog, even dogs that have a bite history. Many apartments and rentals now require canine insurance, and many homeowner’s policies do not cover certain breeds of dogs. InsureMyK9.com can assist with this so that owners can keep their pet. Rates start under $10 a month and coverage amounts range between $10,000 and $300,000. The price of the policy depends on the breed, weight, bite history, and other factors, but in most all cases InsureMyK9 can still provide your pet with coverage. Deductibles are anywhere from $250 to $2,500 depending on the type of policy and type of claim.
Dog liability insurance protects you from financial responsibilities if your dog injures a person or causes property damage. There are many breeds of dogs that are considered aggressive by nature, but all dogs have the potential to cause harm unintentionally. Canine liability Insurance covers you 24 hours a day. It isn't just for aggressive dogs; your dog's leash could trip someone causing them to fall and bump their head or break a bone. We provide a FREE quote - just go to the website and click on "GET A FREE QUOTE."