AMIS Sponsored Homeowners Insurance Information
Dog bite liability
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 4.7 million dog bites per year. These bites cost over $1 billion, with the property/casualty insurance industry paying roughly $310 million in 1999, about 20% of total homeowners insurance liability payouts.
Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability. The following tips can help reduce the chances of your dog biting someone:
- Have your dog spayed or neutered. These procedures will greatly reduce the likelihood that the dog will bite.
- Socialize your dog so that it knows how to act with other people and animals.
- Play non-aggressive games with your dog such as "go fetch." Playing aggressive games like "tug-of-war" can encourage inappropriate behavior.
- Avoid exposing your dog to situations in which you are unsure what the dog’s response will be.
Insurers may charge more for certain breeds of dogs. The following purebreds have been responsible for the greatest number of dog bite-related fatalities over the 20 year period, 1979 to 1998, according to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC - http://www.cdc.gov/). The breeds are listed in declining order of fatalities:
- "Pit Bull"
- German Shepherd Dog
- Doberman Pinscher
- Chow Chow
- Great Dane
- Saint Bernard