When purchasing homeowner’s insurance in Marietta, you’ll have a multitude of items to consider. The value of the structure itself, the contents in the home, and the types of damage you want to cover are all included in that list.
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For Marietta homeowners with pets, however, there is another consideration: extra liability coverage. Most pets are not considered to be a dangerous liability, but certain dog breeds are. It may not seem fair, but the reality is that you could be denied homeowner’s insurance coverage altogether if you own one of these breeds.
A Few Statistics about Dog Breeds and Homeowner’s Liability
According to the Insurance Information Institute, 2011 saw 360,000 non-fatal dog bite emergencies. In a 2010 report, there was a 100 percent increase in the incidences of dog-related injury hospitalizations since 1995. In 2012, dog bites accounted for one third of all homeowner’s insurance liability claims, adding up to nearly $5 million of paid claims.
How These Statistics Relate to Homeowner’s Insurance in Marietta
With numbers like these, it is understandable why some Marietta homeowner’s insurance companies might be hesitant to grant coverage for people with pets who have been categorized as potentially dangerous. Dog bites can cost insurance companies a lot of money in situations where the homeowner is liable for the injury.
There are many dog breeds that are suspect, including but not limited to Pit Bulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers, German Shepards, and Akitas. While most people do recognize that the dog’s owner and environment has more to do with the way the dog behaves than the breed itself, not all dangerous breed owners take on the responsibility that is necessary to ensure an accident doesn’t happen.
Because of this, insurance companies will often require a dangerous dog breed owner to purchase additional liability coverage on their Marietta homeowner’s insurance policy—if they are willing to offer coverage at all. Many companies will not. Much depends on the individual company’s prior experience and number of claims filed and/or paid because of dog-related incidents.
Getting Marietta Homeowner’s Insurance if You Own a “Dangerous” Dog Breed
Perhaps the great irony in this situation is that many pet owners obtain certain “dangerous” dog breeds, at least in part, as additional security for their home. In fact, some argue that owners of these dogs should get a discount on their policy because of that. And, in many cases, these dogs do make an excellent security system.
The problem is that, unlike an electronic security system, we cannot anticipate the way an animal will behave in any given situation. As living beings with minds of their own, there can never be complete control over a dog’s behavior.
So, if you do own a dog that is considered dangerous, the best thing to do is to talk with your Marietta homeowner’s insurance agent. He or she can help you determine the level of liability coverage you need, as well as whether ownership of the dog will cause you to have difficulty obtaining adequate coverage.
It is best to settle these things immediately in case there is an incident with your dog in the future. Your dog may never cause a moment’s harm to someone else. But, in the event that it does, adequate liability coverage will be crucial for keeping you out of court—or bankruptcy.