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Yes, insurance companies tailor policies to cover the risks associated with dogs known to be genetically dangerous. On other parts of this site, we discussed the unfair practice of breed-specific bans by cities and counties. As we discussed, such policies do not adequately understand the potential risk of dogs based on their breeds. Furthermore, it builds public suspicion and stereotypes of each species and its owners.
As a result, insurance companies also use similar means to survey the risk of a dog and its ownership. Often these fall upon the lines of the dog’s breed. In many cases, the extra payment is very high and does not necessarily cover the expenses the owner needs. Nor do these coverages always help with the costs when the owner truly needs them.
Municipalities sometimes force owners of certain breeds to carry insurance to own their dogs. This often includes Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Akitas, and More. Some insurance companies refuse to insure these breeds, and others do. As a result, the risk for the dog owner increases dramatically. The average payout for dog bite insurance claims in 2014 was a whopping $32,000, often leaving the owner with few options.
This is doubly the case if the insurance policy does not cover the breed of dog owned. Furthermore, insurance policies are infamously fickle. These policies sometimes cover the cost of injuries after a dog attack, especially on the owner’s property. However, these policies often have a cap on the amount available for the dog owner. Furthermore, they usually do not cover the cost or liability of lawsuits.
Too many; this is a corrupt system for both the dog owner and the dog bite victim. First, the owner is left without legal protection or the means to pay for it when they need it the most. Secondly, the victim may win in court against a dog owner bankrupted by the cost of fighting a dog bite lawsuit. Since the insurance company usually does not payout, both parties will likely lose.
Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.