As a homeowner, you have many financial responsibilities. One of those is covering medical bills and other costs if someone gets hurt while visiting your residence. You might also be held liable if your dog hurts someone, too.
In many cases, your homeowners’ insurance policy will pay on any claims someone may file against you over a dog bite — but there are times when insurers deny claims. If that happens, you would be personally liable for a dog bite injury victim’s medical costs and other incident-related expenses.
When might your insurer deny a victim’s dog bite claim?
Your insurer must know about the presence of your dog when underwriting your policy, just like they might need to know about the human residents in your home. If they were never aware of your dog’s presence in the first place, your insurer might decline any claims that come in from dog bite victims later.
Insurers may also deny your dog bite victim’s claim against your homeowners’ policy if they discover that you have a certain breed of dog that is known to be aggressive. Some dog breeds even make it onto restricted breeds lists, such as:
- Chow Chows
- Siberian Huskies
- Cane Corsos
- German Shepherds
- Pit bulls
- Wolf hybrids
If your dog falls into any of those categories, your insurance may specifically preclude claims involving them.
The medical costs that a dog bite victim may incur can be quite costly. That can be a lot to have to come out of your pocket. You’ll certainly want to delve a bit deeper to try and determine why your insurer denied your victim’s claim before negotiating an out-of-pocket settlement with the plaintiff.