About 47 percent of U.S. households own at least one dog. The Insurance Information Institute reports that dog bites are 33 percent of insurance liability claims. It also reports that over 50 percent of dog bites reported to insurance companies happened on the property of the homeowner.

In April this year, 2-year-old Brayden Wilson of Dallas was attacked and killed by his family’s pit bull in his parents’ home. This is a tragic incident, of course. However, if the dog had killed a neighbor or someone else’s pet, the homeowner would have been liable for the death. So, it’s advantageous for property owners to get homeowners insurance with an animal liability clause.

Though it might not always be easy for property owners to find homeowners insurance to cover injuries caused by their pet, with persistence, they can usually get insurance that protects them if their animal harms someone. However, responsible dog owners and dog-welfare agencies complain that insurers blacklist some breeds of dogs from home insurance Texas State liability coverage. Drawing on statistics complied by the CDC about dog bites, breeds that some underwriters of homeowners insurance will not cover include, but are not limited to, the pit bull, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Siberian husky, Doberman pinscher, chow chow, Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Akita and mixtures of these breeds.

People seeking homeowners insurance with animal liability clauses should examine the policy closely. If it has an Animal Liability Exclusion clause that means animals are not covered. If the policy has a Limitations Exclusion that means the insurer has a maximum that it will pay for one or more dog-bite incidents. If an insurer turns down a homeowner for coverage, the homeowner should call other agents because coverage differs by company, city and state.

The minimum liability coverage for animal liability should be $300.000. The policy should also cover the medical expenses of the victim, including ambulance, ER costs and follow-up medical visits. The policy should include the hiring of a lawyer to defend the homeowner in court. People shopping for animal liability on their homeowners insurance should be aware that most policies cover only the fees of a lawyer the insurance company selects.

A dog that attacks a person or an animal will be impounded by the police. However, most animal liability clauses on homeowners insurance policies do not cover the costs of impoundment. Homeowners policies with animal liability clauses cover the named homeowner and, usually, the relatives who live in the house and anyone under 21 years of age who lives in the home.

Texas has a “first-bite” law that may excuse homeowners from liability if the incident is the first time a dog bit someone, and the victim cannot prove that the dog ever bit anyone. However, even this defense requires a lawyer to defend the homeowner in court. So a homeowners insurance policy with animal liability is invaluable. To sum up, wise homeowners have homeowners insurance with an animal liability clause to protect them and their assets.

Source and Credits to: https://www.texasquotes.com/homeowners-insurance/