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Do I Need Dog Liability Insurance?

Nicole Madison
Updated Feb 29, 2024
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Most insurance experts agree that dog liability insurance is beneficial for dog owners. While you may hope that your pets will never bite anyone, no one can predict whether or not an animal attack will occur. Dog liability insurance protects your assets in the event that your dog attacks someone. It also provides money to cover treatment for those who have been harmed by a dog’s bite. If you do not have dog liability insurance and your dog bites someone, the victim may sue you, and your home and other assets may be in jeopardy.

In many cases, homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance will cover you in the event your dog attacks someone. For example, you may have a homeowner’s insurance policy that provides $100,000 US dollars (USD) of insurance for dog liability. Sometimes other types of insurance policies provide this type of coverage as well. For instance, some auto insurance policies will cover you for dog attacks that occur inside your car.

Some dog liability insurance is intended for landlords. This coverage protects a landlord in case a claim is filed because of a tenant’s dog, but it does not cover the tenant against claims. Additionally, worker’s compensation may provide coverage in the event that an employee is attacked by a dog in a place of employment. If you are a landlord or an employer, these types of policies may prove beneficial for protecting your assets.

To ensure that you have adequate coverage, you may do well to carefully review your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy to learn whether or not dog attacks are covered and how much coverage is provided. If you find that your coverage is lacking, you may consider purchasing separate dog liability insurance. Some experts recommend that dog owners carry about $1,000,000 USD of dog liability coverage. Additionally, you may check your auto insurance and contracts for other policies to learn if you have additional coverage.

You may have a more urgent need for dog liability insurance if your dog has a history of aggressive behavior or if he is a member of a breed that is considered high risk. For example, owning Dobermans, German Shepherds, Pit Bulls, or Great Danes may translate into an increased need for dog liability protection. Chow Chows and Akitas also make the list of dogs that can be more aggressive at times. It is important to note, however, that any type of dog may act aggressively. As such, you may need liability insurance no matter what type of dog you own.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Nicole Madison
By Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. Her passion for knowledge is evident in the well-researched and informative articles she authors. As a mother of four, Nicole balances work with quality family time activities such as reading, camping, and beach trips.
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Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison's love for learning inspires her work as a WiseGeek writer, where she focuses on topics like...
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