Your pet is so much more than just a furry friend. He’s an integral part of the family. You give him the best food and care, and he returns the favor with loads of love and affection. And like the rest of your family members, you want these little bundles of happiness insured and protected against anything unexpected. But pets aren’t people, and every once in a while a terrible accident can occur. Your dog can tear up someone’s home, or react to a new situation by scratching or biting. To protect yourself and your family, you might want to think about purchasing liability insurance to cover your pet. But how do you know what type of insurance you need, and when it becomes a necessity?
The answer generally depends on what types of animals you keep as pets, and whether or not their behavior has you concerned. Not all pets pose liability risks, but sometimes situations pop up that are previously unseen. So what does liability insurance cover? Basically, if you are held legally responsible for any loss, damage or injury caused by your pet, liability insurance will protect you. So if your normally obedient dog gets distracted, runs into the road and causes an accident, or if your horse kicks someone in the stable, or if your cat scratches someone’s child when her tail is tugged, you would not be liable for paying the damages.
Most health insurance plans you would purchase for your dog already include some amount of liability coverage. Generally, insurers expect you to have control of your dog, so if something happens, you will be held liable for their behavior. The same is not the case with cats or other smaller pets. An owner doesn’t control a cat in the same way as a dog, and smaller pets aren’t expected to cause damage in the same way a dog might. But even if you haven’t bought health insurance for your pet, they may be covered in another way.
Look over your homeowner’s insurance policy, as pets may be included in that coverage. Don’t take it for granted if you’re not sure. Call an agent to get the rules and restrictions clearly detailed. Many of these policies cover certain dog breeds, but don’t cover the breeds that have traditionally been considered ‘dangerous’. In either case, you’ll be in a more comfortable position if your pet is covered, so take a look at other insurance options.
There are specialized liability insurance plans for pets. Take the time to research all of the available plans, and make sure your specific breed is covered by whichever policy you choose. It may seem like overkill, but accidents do happen. The last thing you’d want is to have to deal with putting down your family’s pet because of his part in an accident, while simultaneously having to pay out a big settlement. Public liability is sometimes difficult to specify, and often ends with people involved in lengthy court proceedings. If you have pet liability insurance, you can rest easy knowing you’ve done everything you can to insure your entire family is safe.