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Dog Bite Insurance Claims: Who Pays for Damages?

NJ Homeowners Insurance and Dog Liability

Dog bite lawsuits and insurance claims happen often enough. In fact, the tab for injuries from dogs and other pets amounted to 1/3 of national Homeowners Insurance liability claims last year alone – with a total that exceeded $570 million! If you are a dog owner, you will naturally want to know what the consequences of a related incident are.  

Generally speaking, a standard Homeowners Insurance policy will cover the costs associated with injury caused by a pet. Typically, liability coverage for a first time occurrence will range anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000, however, exclusions in regard to subsequent injuries as well as other factors usually apply.

RELATED: How to keep your pet safe at the cookout

Possible NJ Homeowner Insurance Claim Exclusion Scenarios

-          Rover bit the mailman as he was climbing the front steps of a
           home. Because the homeowner had already submitted a claim
           in regard to a previous injury inflicted by Rover, the claim was
           denied.

-          A homeowner filed a claim because he was sued after his pit bull
           attacked a neighbor. The claim was denied because his insurance
           policy did not cover liability caused by particular breeds, including
           pit bulls and rottweilers.

-          A homeowner was taking his morning walk with his dog when he
           decided to take a rest on the park bench. The dog broke loose
           of his owner’s grasp, and then chased and bit a young child.

-          The particular homeowner’s policy did not cover the entire cost
            of the claim mentioned above because the incident occurred away from the home
            premises.

-          Buster, the dog, was sitting in the back seat of his owner’s
           parked car. Suddenly, another driver parked his vehicle next to
           the dog owner’s vehicle. When the driver exited his vehicle and
           passed Buster’s spot, Buster went wild, jumped out of the open
           window and sank his teeth into the man’s leg. The particular
           policy that Buster’s owner had purchased did not cover dog bite
           claims that occur away from the home. 

-          After being denied coverage from his homeowner’s insurance for
           dog bite liability that occurred in the car, Buster’s owner filed
           a claim with his auto insurance company. The auto
           insurance provider contacted the owner’s homeowners company
           to dispute the lack of coverage. The dispute was eventually
           resolved with the auto insurance paying damages.

For further information about the liability risks and coverage in relation to your dog, speak to an experienced independent insurance agency that has your best interests in mind.

PRIME Insurance is the leading agency that has been recognized by the industry and more than 10,000 satisfied customers that it services with excellence. Presented with prestigious awards and appointed to conduct business with over 40 of the top insurance companies, PRIME shops its broad  network to deliver tailored policies at competitively lowest quotes.

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