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Your well-being is our priority.

What insurance covers you after a dog bites you or your child?

Millions of people in California share their homes with domestic pets. Dogs are particularly popular, with animals of different breeds and sizes able to offer companionship, support or even a sense of security at night to the humans that care for them.

Any of those animals might become aggressive and bite a human, possibly causing serious injuries. If you or your child suffered a dog bite attack, you may require medical care for the wound and possibly counseling because of the trauma of the attack. Dog bites can sometimes cause property damage losses. Clothing or electronic devices may be collateral damage in a dog bite attack, as well.

You might need to make an insurance claim for those losses. What policy will cover you after someone else’s animal attacks?

The owner’s insurance may protect you

Individuals with pets often have coverage for animal attacks caused by their pet through homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policies. In fact, such policies often cover animal attacks even when they don’t occur at the insured property.

If the owner did not inform the insurance company about their dog, then the policy may not cover any injuries caused by the animal. The same is true in scenarios where a dog’s owner lies about its breed to avoid paying a surcharge. Certain restricted breeds, like German Shepherds, can affect whether someone can purchase a specific insurance policy and how much they have to pay for coverage. 

Your insurance will likely subrogate the claim

You could seek medical treatment for your injuries without trying to file a claim against the animal’s owner. However, even if you use your health insurance to cover the costs, your insurance company will likely still attempt to recoup the expenses by making a claim against the owner’s coverage.

Rather than paying out-of-pocket expenses for your health coverage and not getting compensation for secondary losses, like missed work and property damage expenses, you may want to make a direct claim yourself so that you receive full compensation for the losses you have suffered. You could also file a civil suit against an animal’s owner if they don’t have insurance to cover the aftermath of their animal’s aggression.

Understanding how insurance reacts after a dog bite attack will take the guesswork out of getting compensation.