How Much Does Dog Liability Insurance Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 8, 2018

Dog liability insurance, also referred to as dog friendly inusrance or canine liablity insurance, protects the owner from the financial responsibilities if the dog were to attack another person and/or pet.

There are many dog breeds that are violent by nature, such as a pit bull, Doberman, Great Dane or Rottweiler, but all dogs have the potential to be aggressive at some point.  Some people who adopt dogs that are known to be dangerous do so because they believe that they can control it; however, no matter how well you train the dog, it is going to be hard to retain its natural instincts.

Dog liability insurance can be hard to find since some companies will not insure certain breeds.  If you do find a company that is willing to insure your dog, it can be quite expensive; however, the cost of insuring the dog will be much less than a potential lawsuit.  In some cases, it may even be mandatory.  For example, if your new landlord dictates your dog is too risky, then he or she may require this policy in order to rent it out to you.

Snarling dog by dgoomany, on Flickr
Snarling dog” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by dgoomany

How much does dog liability insurance cost?

The average cost of dog liability insurance will depend on your coverage, deductible, the dog breed, if it’s spayed/neutered, where you live and the insurance company you choose.  Like a home or auto insurance policy, the costs can vary because of so many factors.  Overall, you should plan on spending around $75 to $250 per year for around $100,000 in liability coverage.  However, if your dog bit someone in the past, your costs could be two to three times more than this.

CesarsWay.com says the average cost will depend on the company, dog breed and bite history.  Based on these factors, policies can range anywhere from as little as $75 to more than $1,000 per year.

According to Insure.com, the cost of a small, spayed dog can cost about $125 a year for $50,000 to $100,000 in coverage.

Dog liability insurance overview

Most insurance companies offer a canine liability insurance add-on if it already isn’t added to your primary homeowners’ insurance policy.  Before you sign up for a liability policy, first check with your homeowner or renter insurance company, if you have a policy, to see if it covers dog liability.  It could be possible you’re already covered, but this isn’t always the case.

Policies, from what we have researched, often offer anywhere from $25,000 to $150,000 in coverage.

These policies, on average, will cover medical costs, vet bills if your dog hurts another animal, damage done to other properties, attorney fees, compensation and lost wages to an injured party.  Again, since these policies vary, be sure to know what’s included if you were to sign up for a policy.

What are the extra costs?

Even if your dog has bitten someone in the past, it doesn’t mean you won’t be covered.  Some insurance companies, if they feel your dog is a threat, may ask you to have your dog attend an insurance-approved obedience class.  If required, this could be an additional fee to think about.

Tips to know:

Pay close attention to the policy to know about any exclusions.  Some companies, for example, may only cover you if your dog was on your property.  Be sure to ask your insurance company any questions if you were confused with the lingo.

The average dog claim is close to $25,000, and if you didn’t have the policy to cover these damages, you would be responsible for these bills.

How can I save money?

Some companies may offer discounts if you provide proof of specialized training and/or obedience classes.  The same can be said about a dog that doesn’t have a history of being aggressive or biting someone.

Call a few insurance providers to see what they charge, and remember, always be upfront with your situation as most companies can spot fraud relatively easily.  Even if you find one company won’t insure your dog, it doesn’t mean you should give up.  As long as your dog is spayed/neutered, properly socialized and doesn’t belong to a wild pack, there should be an insurance company willing to insure your dog.

If your renter’s policy, it can be cost effective to sign up for a personal umbrella policy, which may be able to protect you in some circumstances.


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