Does Renters Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

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  • Does Renters Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

In many instances, renters insurance covers dog bites under the liability portion of your policy. Your coverage can pay for both medical bills directly relating to the bite and legal fees that follow suit if the dog bite victim decides to sue you.

Your renters insurance coverage that protects against dog bites is limited to your policy’s maximum per claim, which typically begins at $100,000. Some companies also allow you to increase your coverage to $300,000 or $500,000 per claim.

However, insurers may exclude coverage for particular dog breeds, like pitbulls or rottweilers, because they’re deemed to have the stigma of being naturally aggressive. So no matter how well you raise your dog, these breeds could be excluded from your coverage altogether. Let’s take a deeper dive into everything you need to know about renters insurance and dog bites.

Understanding Dog Liability Insurance for Renters

As previously mentioned, dog bites are covered under the liability portion of your renters insurance policy. Liability coverage helps to pay for injuries that occur on your property and for which you’re found liable, as well as accidental damage that you cause to other people’s property. It also steps in to help pay for any legal expenses, including court costs and lawyer fees, if the affected party decides to sue you.

If your dog bites someone and they need medical attention, that would likely qualify for coverage under the injury portion. And if they sue you, the legal expenses portion would come into play. While not a dog bite, this coverage could also help pay for damages to other people’s property that your dog causes and lawsuits that arise from it.

However, when filing a renters insurance claim for a dog bite, you’d only need to file one claim per incident. If it’s covered by your insurer, that claim would tap into your policy’s liability coverage amount to reimburse the injured party for their medical bills and reimburse you for any legal fees.

However, there are a few exclusions you need to be aware of. Renters insurance excludes coverage if your dog bites someone who’s listed on your policy and it typically excludes coverage if your dog bites a family member or someone who lives in the home with you.

So if a family member comes over to visit and gets bitten by your dog, or your roommate gets bitten by your dog, things could get pretty hairy because your renters policy may leave you high and dry. Instead, you may be personally and financially liable to cover any of those expenses.

A standard renters insurance policy comes equipped with $100,000 in coverage, and you typically can’t reduce that amount even if you don’t think you need that much coverage. However, if you’re a dog owner, you may need even more than the standard $100,000 in liability coverage.

Dog bites are one of the most common liability claims, and a bad dog bite can easily top the $100,000 mark. If someone gets bit in the face, they may be looking at extensive repairs that include plastic surgery. Additionally, the trauma may be deemed to last a lifetime, resulting in a payout that’s well into the six figures.

Dog owners may want to consider opting for $300,000 to $500,000 in coverage. And, if you want to feel even more secure in case of a dog bite, you can also purchase an umbrella insurance policy, which increases dog bite liability insurance for renters to $1 million or more.

While renters insurance isn’t required by law, your landlord can sometimes require you to purchase a policy. However, whether your landlord requires it or not, we always recommend purchasing and keeping adequate renters insurance coverage. There are many benefits aside from being protected against dog bites.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Dog Bites off Property?

Renters insurance dog bite coverage is unique because your policy typically provides coverage for dog bites that occur both on and off your property. So if you’re at the park and your dog bites someone, causing injuries and a potential lawsuit, you should be covered up to your policy’s maximum.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Dog Attacks?

Dog attacks share the same coverage under your renters policy as dog bites. So if your dog attacks someone, whether they bite them or not, your policy should cover any medical bills and legal expenses that arise from the attack. Dog attacks should share the same liability coverage maximums as a dog bite.

How to Get Renters Insurance That Covers Dogs

Getting renters insurance that covers dogs is a breeze when you choose Clovered. We’ve partnered with some of the best insurance companies in the country, so we can provide you with a renters insurance policy that includes the coverage you need at the price you want to pay.

All you need to do is answer a few questions about your home and living situation in our proprietary online quoting tool and you’ll be on your way in just a few minutes with a policy that’s customized to you.

Protect Your Belongings With Renters Insurance

Averaging just $12 per month, renters insurance can protect your belongings for the cost of a few cups of coffee.

The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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