Does Home Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

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If your dog bites someone, will your home insurance cover any damages? This is a question a lot of homeowners have for us. The idea of your dog biting someone is upsetting enough, but having to face the costs associated with any injuries or other damages from the bite is added stress.

Home insurance and dog bites

If you have a home insurance policy, it will likely cover dog bite damages.

The portion of your policy that would apply is what’s known as third-party liability coverage. It could go toward medical costs if the person your dog bites requires it, as well as any losses (including lost wages), and legal fees.

What else does third-party liability home insurance cover?

When a homeowner is found legally responsible for damage to another person’s property or if someone is injured, and the damage is unintentional (as opposed to something like vandalism), third-party liability insurance can help cover resulting costs.

These are a few scenarios when third-party liability insurance can apply:

  • You’re cutting down a tree on your property when it falls onto your neighbor’s home. It breaks their window, and you’re responsible for covering repair costs.
  • Your child throws a ball and it hits a passing car, shattering the windshield.
  • A guest trips on a broken step in your home. They break their ankle and the medical bills total $1400 and you’re legally responsible for covering the damage.

Dog bite laws in Utah

Each state has different laws surrounding dog bites and responsibility. Some state’s laws are stricter than others, and Utah happens to be one of those states.

In fact, Utah has a specific law addressing dog bite liability: “U.C.A. 1953 § 18-1-1 specifies “every person owning or keeping a dog is liable in damages for injury committed by the dog.”

In addition to dog bites, this law can apply to other damages or injuries from your dog, like knocking over a guest and injuring them or damaging their property.

There is also a statute of limitations on reporting dog bite damage in Utah: the injured person has four years to bring their case to court, and the starting date of this period is typically the date the injury took place.

Would you like to learn more about making sure you have the right home insurance in place to protect yourself from dog bite claims and other incidents? Give Salt Lake City Insurance a call today so we can help!

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