When procuring or updating your homeowners policy, your agent will probably ask about pets. It seems like an unrelated question, but in reality it can affect your insurance rates, sometimes quite drastically. Even the best-trained animals can be unpredictable, and your insurer looks at every possible risk when creating your homeowners policy. If there’s a chance your pet could pose a threat to people in or around your home you may see increased rates, need more liability coverage, or in extreme cases, be denied insurance altogether.
According to the CDC, 4.5 million people suffer dog bites each year, with approximately 900,00 cases requiring medical treatment. Fortunately, most homeowners policies cover dog bites and other incidents, and liability insurance should help you avoid being responsible for others’ injury bills. To avoid the need to file a pet-induced claim, the American Kennel Club has provided a few simple actions to practice:
-Socialize your dog early by introducing it to other humans and dogs
-Keep your dog on a leash when it’s in the yard
-Regularly update vaccinations
-Limit tug-of-war games
-Never leave children alone with your dog
-Have visitors respect the dog’s space, especially while it’s sleeping/resting, eating, and drinking.