Is it just me or are we seeing more reports in the media these days about dogs biting or attacking people?
It can be traumatic for the owner as well as the victim. For instance, I read last week about a case in California in which a lawsuit resulted in a payout of more than $1 million for a youngster attacked by a dog. That is a lot of money, so you need to make sure that you are properly insured.
It turns out that around 1,000 bite victims end up in emergency rooms throughout North America everyday and there are close on 5 million bites in a single year.
I am a dog lover, we have a Yorkie and a Golden Doodle at home. You may have also seen them on our Facebook page.
My daughter and I love to pet any dog that we see. But, we know that not all dogs like to be approached, especially by someone that they don't know.
If you’re a dog owner, or you know someone who is, or you’re about to become an owner, here’s some useful information to help wise-up to the risks:
- Some breeds are more inclined to bite than others – and they’re not always the ones you expect. See this list: http://tinyurl.com/aggressive-dogs
- Most bite victims are children, so you should be extra vigilant when kids are around.
- Common advance warning signs of a bite attack include pinned-back ears, back fur standing up, unusually visible whites of the eyes, yawning to show teeth, a freezing response to touch, and intense eye contact.
- Dog aggression may be driven by a sense of possessiveness – for property or individuals – fear and pain. If your dog exhibits these symptoms, seek professional help.
- If you dog is inclined to nip or to be aggressive, don’t leave it unattended with others, and muzzle it.
If your dog bites someone, constrain it immediately and, if appropriate, seek medical help for the victim. Don’t admit liability but do provide the victim with information about the animal’s most recent rabies shot.
Most home insurance policies provide coverage against injuries caused by pets but if you’re not sure on this, just ask your agent to check. Insurance Companies have started to exclude specific breeds from being covered by the home insurance liability coverage, so please double check with your specific policy to make sure your dog breed is covered. The last thing you want is to find out that your dog is not covered after there is an incident.
You may also need to consider whether your coverage ceiling is adequate. This is where an umbrella insurance policy can provide valuable protection for you.
On a different but related matter, healthcare costs for animals are rising quickly these days – for example, up to $25,000* for cancer treatment. Not surprisingly, over the past few years I’ve seen a steady increase in pet insurance inquiries from owners.
Right now, the market for pet medical insurance is extremely competitive so rates are good. If you’d like to talk about your options on this, please get in touch.
Huff Insurance is a full service Independent Insurance Agent We have been dedicated to Protecting Lifestyles™ since 1960. We offer a full array of Personal Insurance, Commercial Insurance and Life Insurance & Health Insurance products. Call us at 410-647-1111