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Dog Bit Your Neighbor?
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Scenario: Your dog just bit the neighbor’s child when the child tried to snuggle your sleeping dog.  You know your dog is a sweetheart, but was probably spooked when the child climbed on for an innocent snuggle.  Now the parents are suing you for negligence.  Do you have insurance coverage for this?  Answer below…

Not my poochie…  Every year about 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for a dog bite; half of those victims are kids.  About 386,000 need ER services, and about 16 actually die from their wounds.  Dog-bite injuries are highest for kids ages 5-9, more common for boys than girls, and 2/3 of kids are bitten in the head or neck area.  Let’s face it, kids love dogs and love to cuddle, kiss and even play rough with them.  But a dog bite to the face can be very serious, and can leave noticeable scars that will last a lifetime.

Answer:  Yes, you have coverage.  Under the Personal Liability section fo your policy you will usually see a nice round number, anywhere from $100,000 to $500,000. In this case the insurance company will provide a defense for you, and will indemnify the other party, up to the limits of your coverage.  If the insurer settles the suit, they will pay the other party directly.  No, your policy will not be cancelled.  Yes, the insurer will probably require you to get rid of the dog.  If you were to switch carriers in the future, the new carrier (if they’re smart) will want to know if the troublemaking dog is still in your household.

Insurance Buying Tip:  Personal Liability coverage is one fo the most important, and least expensive, sections of your policy.  To raise your limits from $100,000 to $500,000 should cost you less than $50/year, making it a very good insurance buy.  On top of that, you can usually buy a$1,000,000 excess liability, or umbrella policy, for about $150-$200/year.  This is extremely cheap considering the amount of protection you receive.

Purves Insurance is located in Davis, CA and we love dogs, but not when they bite kids…