Is Your Dog Covered Under Your Homeowners Insurance?
Ontario, Calif., — March 16, 2010 — “Asking if your dog is covered under your homeowners insurance policy may be a strange question to ask, but according to the Journal of American Medical Association, the number of dog bites in America now tops 4.5 million per year,” says Frank N. Darras, America’s top insurance lawyer. “An overwhelming one-third of all homeowner’s liability claims are now related to dog bites, equaling about $1 billion in damages, according to the Insurance Information Institute.”
So, how do you protect your finances from a liability suit if Fido should ever bite the mailman? One type of policy that has become popular is Umbrella insurance. Umbrella Insurance is designed to give you added liability protection above and beyond the limits on your homeowners, auto, and watercraft personal insurance policies. With an umbrella policy, depending on the insurance company, one can add an additional $1-5 million in liability protection. This protection is designed to “kick-in” when the liability on your other current policies has been exhausted. See www.DarrasLaw.com.
How do you decide if umbrella coverage is right for you? You first need to evaluate what assets you want covered and what the likelihood of getting sued may be. It may be more cost-effective to raise your liability limits on your homeowners insurance, rather than buying an umbrella policy. Also, by raising your deductible, you may ultimately pay less premium than you had originally been paying. No matter, with the commonality of million-dollar settlements and verdicts, an umbrella policy may be the best way to go, says Darras.
For example, if you own a swimming pool, hot tub, trampoline, swing set, or pets, it would be a good idea to consider getting an umbrella policy, especially if you have guests over and your dog tends to snap at people. If you don’t regularly have people over and your pooch couldn’t hurt a fly, it may not be that important.
With personal liability umbrella policy coverage, you can include personal injury, property damage or bodily injury-which may be caused by you, your pets, or your dependents. Along with personal injury protection, you may be covered in the unfortunate event of:
* False arrest
* False imprisonment
* Invasion of privacy
* Malicious prosecution
* Wrongful entry
Some umbrella policies go as far as giving you coverage if you’re charged while actively participating on the board of a charitable, religious or civic organization. It’s important to realize that even if the lawsuit is frivolous or silly, you will still need to pay the expenses of the litigation defending yourself.