Insurance Companies’ Policy About Dog Bite Claims Surprise Dog Owners

Hey DOG OWNERS!  (And Landlords of Tenants with Dogs) Guess what?

Did you know that if your (or a tenant’s) dog bites someone and you have an insurance claim that your policy will NOT be renewed?


You would think that when a company  takes your application and asks you what kind of dog you have they would have the presence of mind to also say, ‘by the way, if there’s a dog bite claim, you won’t be renewed’.

I sell Real Estate for a living. We have pages and pages of disclosures to fill out about many things. Shouldn’t there be a rider that alerts us dog owners to the fact that if your dog happens to bite someone and there’s a claim made, it’s ‘bye bye insurance’?

In my case, my dog, having been startled by an earthquake, hopped our fence and was on top of the wall on my own property. A neighbor, walking his German Shepherd, tried to help my frightened dog down, and my dog, unfortunately bit him.  The neighbor later went to the emergency room and an insurance claim was filed.

It was all settled but then I got a letter informing me that my insurance company is not renewing.

They may, indeed, have that policy in place and it appears others do as well. In fact, it appears normal and customary. However, the problem is why doesn’t anyone know about it? Why isn’t this publicized?

What angers me is that the agent or insurance company should put some sort of disclaimer in that goes something like this: “Should there be a dog bite claim, be aware the carrier may not agree to renew.”

In Real Estate, there are forms for even less than this.

So, isn’t this crazy? And, when they’re taking an insurance application over the phone, for insurance, they already ask you ‘what kind of dog do you own?’  How about saying then, “by the way, a dog bite claim by keep your policy from being renewed”.

This is important information for all dog owners to know.  Please pass this on to your dog owner friends and family members.