Does renters insurance cover dog bites?
A renters insurance policy typically provides liability coverage, up to policy limits, for dog bites unless the coverage is specifically excluded from the policy.
Coverage May Vary
Coverage for dog bites varies from state to state and from one insurance company to another. Speak with a licensed insurance agent and let him know about any dogs that reside at the insured residence. Aggressive breeds of dogs are often excluded and should be revealed to the insurance agent. By not revealing the possession of aggressive breeds, you open yourself up to the possibility of policy cancellation. There are companies that insure breeds that have been labeled as aggressive. To properly protect your assets from liability, be honest when seeking any type of insurance coverage.
Typically, the liability coverage limits on a renters insurance policy range from $100,000 to $300,000. A higher liability limit is a safer option if you have dogs. The price difference between the lower liability option and the higher liability option is usually minimal.
Some state and local ordinances require your dogs to be on leashes at all times when they are outside. Allowing your dog to roam without a leash could open you up to a higher amount of liability, since negligence can be proven. Any claims or judgements that exceed the policy limits could open you up to a personal lawsuit. If you are a higher net worth individual, look into an umbrella insurance policy for additional coverage. Umbrella policies may also have restrictions on dogs.