According to the Humane Society there are 78.2 million pet dogs in the United States. Thirty‑nine percent of all households own a dog with forty percent owning multiple dogs. This article will cover some of the issues you may face if your dog injures someone.
Most pet owners will never have a problem with their dog causing injury. However, what are your potential liabilities if it does? In Illinois, the Animal Control Act governs who is legally liable for a dog bite and when they are liable for a dog bite.
If a dog bites me, can I make a recovery?
The answer to this question is tricky and largely depends on who owns the dog. If the owner rents a house, their homeowner's insurance should cover the injuries caused by the dog.
Most homeowner's insurance will cover you and your dog. However, check with your insurance agent since some policies exclude coverage for dog bites. If your homeowner's insurance does not cover your dog, you will be personally responsible for paying for any injury caused by your dog.
If you rent an apartment and have renter's insurance, that too should cover your dog, but be sure to check with your insurance agent. If you rent an apartment and do not have renter's insurance, you will be personally responsible for any injury caused by your dog. Your landlord's insurance will not cover you or your dog, that is your responsibility. It is always a good idea to get renter's insurance, but I would consider it essential if you own a dog.
Some breeds of dogs are more dangerous than other breeds
Some breeds of dogs tend to produce the most dog bites claims with homeowners insurance. These are the same breeds we see repeatedly when McCready , Garcia & Leet represents a dog bite victim. These breeds include:
- Pit Bulls
- Doberman Pinschers
- Chow chows
- German Shepherds
Because these breeds generate the most claims, so insurance companies specifically exclude certain breeds from coverage under homeowners insurance. You should examine your policy closely. Furthermore, if your dog has bitten in the past and the insurance company pays a claim, they will likely send you an endorsement which says they will not cover any future dog bite claims. It is important to know if your homeowners insurance will cover you if your dog bites someone.
If you have questions about whether homeowners insurance covers you for a dog bite, please contact McCready , Garcia & Leet for a free, no obligation, consultation by calling us at 773-779-9885 or contact us by e-mail. For more information, consult the topics below.