I spoke with a young couple last week. They’re buying a new home and have all the excitement that a new home buyer has as they look forward to moving in and making it their own. Everything about them put them in each carrier’s preferred tier of client except for one thing. Their dog had bitten a delivery person and this had been filed as a claim.
The claim was classified as a liability claim. This automatically means that about half my carriers won’t write their home insurance. Once the underwriters find out it’s a dog bite another growing percentage falls out. The ones that will write it either exclude animal liability (this puts the homeowner at financial risk and I don’t recommend it) or the premium increases somewhere between $500 and $1,500 a year.
Carriers look back at claims either over 3 years of 5 years. In round numbers this means the a dog bite can cost a homeowner somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000 in additional insurance cost just for the home insurance. That doesn’t include any impact on car insurance rates if you had them packaged with the same carrier, the hassle of finding a new carrier if your old one drops you for such a claim nor the cost of medical care for the bite victim.
If you’re dog has bitten someone, please invest the money and time in training for your pet so they don’t bite again.