A Conversation About Dog Bite Liability Insurance

“What a ridiculous thing–who’d ever heard of liability insurance for dogs?” said Ellen to her girlfriend Nancy while the two were out walking their respective little balls of fur, Lilo and Stitch. “It sounds like some of that expensive nonsense like dog psychiatrists and psychics and exotic food–like your friend who gives her dog only that expensive bottled water to drink. She does realize that her dog would drink out of the toilet bowl if given an opportunity, right?”

“Actually,” replied Nancy, “it’s a smart move when you have a pet–in fact, I have a policy myself. I got it the day after I found out that my cousin’s German Shepherd jumped the fence and bit the mailman–do you know he sued my cousin for nearly $10,000 and won? If not for the coverage she had purchased, my cousin would have had to pay that settlement out of her own pocket, and there’s no way she has that kind of money. As it turns out, she only had to pay a small deductible and the policy paid the rest. After all,” Nancy reasoned, “I buy pet insurance to protect me for really expensive vet bills. Remember when Stitch had to have surgery last year when she hurt her back? That was nearly five grand, but I only had to pay the deductible. I came out way ahead, even with paying premiums for a few years before I had to use the coverage.”

Some sobering statistics

“These accidents don’t just happen to other people,” said Nancy, “and they aren’t so uncommon. I read in a study that dog bites are the fifth highest reason why children are treated in emergency rooms after engaging in voluntary activities, such as playing sports, and about 1,000 people in the U.S. need to go to the emergency room every year because of receiving a bite from a dog. In fact, I myself was bit by our neighbor’s poodle when I was about 7 years old, and this was an animal that I thought I knew pretty well.”

“Okay, I’m convinced,” said Ellen, reaching for her cell phone. “I’m going to call my professional insurance agent right now. She’s been a great resource for my homeowner’s and auto policies, so I’m sure she can point me in the right direction about liability insurance for dogs, too.”