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Dog Bites: A Surprising Homeowner’s Liability

Dog Bites: A Surprising Homeowner’s Liability

The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) just released an update on one of the biggest liability claims last year, and the results might surprise you. According to an analysis of homeowner’s insurance data, dog bites accounted for 1/3 of all liability claims in 2015. With a rising cost paid for claims, you may want to take some steps to make sure your furry best friend doesn’t become an insurance risk. And if you, or your pooch, have been involved in a toothed altercation, then you should immediately seek legal consultation from someone like this Los Angeles dog bite attorney.

As court and health insurance costs continue to rise, insurance carriers doled out $571 million in claims last year over dog bites. Dr. Bonnie Beaver, veterinary professor at Texas A+M University, cautions that most bites occur from familiar dogs. She also pointed out “the largest groups at risk are children and the elderly.” Unfortunately, small triggers can quickly take a pet out of their comfort zone increasing the risk of a bite occuring. Sadly, if you’re bitten by a dog it can lead to a domino effect of unsavoury consequences. If you have a furry companion in your home, you may want to consider a few details for your sake and Fido’s.

1. Know Your Pets

Watch your dogs for any signs of aggressive behaviors. If you do notice anything, speak with a vet or pet behavior specialist for solutions. Get to know your dog’s personality before acquainting a new pet with guests. Avoid placing your animal into a situation where you are unsure of how they will act.

2. Practice Caution Around Children

Professionals recommend that you never leave a dog and a child alone together unsupervised. For older children, experts suggest telling them not to play with doggy if they are eating or sleeping. Use extreme caution when a dog shares an environment with an infant. The American Humane Society offers a guide called “Pet Meets Baby” available free for download. Find it here.

3. Socialize Your Pets

Teach your pets how to act around others (including other pets) with restrictions in place. Build habits of trust as you teach appropriate behaviors. Plenty of training schools are available to guide your dog’s growth as a loveable and well-behaved pet.

4. Watch for Visitors

Postal workers account for a number of dog bite claims. Therefore, unless you have cause to feel threatened, it’s best to secure your pets before opening the door to a stranger. Sometimes even friendly visitors can make a pet excited, so it may be best to keep your other best friend in another room while company calls.

Check with us to make sure your homeowner’s policy covers animal liability. We love insuring you and your furry friends.

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