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Dog bite laws and rental insurance

| Aug 14, 2017 | Premises Liability |

When a dog bite occurs, thoughts of liability usually come up immediately. The person bitten wants compensation for his or her injuries. The dog owner begins to worry about paying for such damages, and the landlord of the property may even be concerned about his or her liability, if any. A dog bite is an unfortunate situation, but when one occurs, the law usually steps in to handle liability issues.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the best way for a renter and landlord to protect against liability for a dog bite is be a responsible dog owner and to carry proper insurance. Obviously, landlords can refuse to rent to people who own dogs or own certain breeds of dogs. Dog owners should take proper precautions to protect others from their dogs, such as putting the dog in a kennel or erecting a fence. Most renters’ and home owners’ insurance policies offer coverage for such situations, but it is important for renters and landlords to check their policies for coverage stipulations.

The Canine Journal notes some insurance policies are restrictive when it comes to dogs, so renters may need to get special coverage. Some insurance companies may pinpoint specific breeds that require unique policies. These breeds are often those who have been deemed aggressive or particularly dangerous. They may include pit bulls, German shepherds, Rottweilers, Chows, Dobermans and wolf hybrids.

Sometimes a separate pet liability coverage is needed. There is also the option of personal umbrella coverage, which offers the combined protections of renters’ insurance and pet liability coverage.