What do dogs have to do with my real estate?

Dog bites are becoming the #1 liability issue for homeowners and landlords across the United States. I will tell you my personal stories in a little bit but why put your real estate at risk when you own a dog? Or allow a dog at a rental property? Not saying you cannot but have you talked to your insurance agent about this?

My daughter, when she was 11 (?) was getting ready to go to girl scout camp with her friend and the Mom, who was a scout leader. Being outside and packing up stuff in their backpacks, my daughter bend down to grab her backpack and “todd” the coon hound decided to bite her on her cheek. Thus started to series of plastic surgeries required and a lawsuit.

My Dad (since deceased) agreed to feed and let out the neighbors Bishion dogs (2), while they were at a wedding. While 1 dog ate the other wasn’t so my Dad bent down and offered the dog her bowl of food. The dog proceeded to bite the tip of my Dad’s thumb off and 15 stitches later he was then sent home. My Dad (bless his sole) never wanted to sue and didn’t pursue what he should have done.

The typical homeowner (and landlord too) does carry the typical $300,000 of liability coverage, where the dog bit coverage comes from on an insurance policy. To increase this to $500,000 is about $20-$40 more a year and to go to $1,000,000 is about $40-$55 a year. Which is why I said to contact your insurance agent in the 1st sentence that no one thinks about!

And if I was a landlord, I would never allow dogs at my properties – you are opening up yourself to be a party to a lawsuit! And 82% of tenants don’t carry renters insurance (that also has liability coverage on it), so the lawsuit would target YOU! The ONLY way that this is acceptable in a tenant occupied building is if the tenant has a renters policy and then lists YOU, the landlord, as an additional insured. That way the 1st line of defense would come from the tenants policy in the event of a dog bite situation.

Just be a smart insurance consumer!

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