The past few years have been rough for most of us. From the huge changes and tragedy of the pandemic to the conflict in Ukraine and now inflation and political polarization—there’s been a lot of darkness. A big source of love and light for us (and for many folks we know) is including a pet in our family.
DID YOU ADOPT A PET DURING THE PANDEMIC?
If so, you are not alone. Chrisi Amour, an owner of That Fish Place—That Pet Place, says that they saw a significant increase in their business over the last two years. People were purchasing all types of pets. Some of the larger increases in sales were ferrets and fish. They also host rescues and were able to place cats, dogs, and birds.
Pandemic pet adoptions helped so many families by providing a source of positive focus and care. Like many pets, our dog Sage provides companionship and unconditional love when we are feeling down or stressed. She makes us drag ourselves outside for a hike when we feel like just staying inside. She is our “adventure buddy”!
While there are endless benefits to having a dog as part of your family, it is important to consider the risks and responsibilities that come with owning a dog.
Often owners may not be aware that they are liable if:
- A dog runs out onto the road and causes an accident
- A dog runs onto the sidewalk into a person that is riding a bike and causes them to fall and be injured
- A dog attacks and injures someone else’s pet
- A dog kills the neighbor’s chicken/cat, etc.
In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, dog-related injury claims costs have been climbing for years. The average cost per claim nationally increased 39 percent from 2012 to 2021, due to the rise in medical costs and the upward trend in the size of settlements, judgments, and jury awards.
In 2021 dog-related injury claims approached nearly $900 million.
To avoid being part of that devastating figure, take the following steps to protect yourself and others:
- Contact your insurance agent prior to purchasing/adopting.
- Do you have liability coverage if your dog would cause harm to another person or animal?
- Does your insurance company allow coverage for the breed of dog that you are planning to purchase or adopt? Insurance companies are sometimes unwilling to cover certain breeds.
- Train/socialize your dog.
- Have your dog under your control, or on a leash when in public.
- Make sure that your dog stays on your property and will not run after people or other dogs.
- Do not bring your dog into social situations if you are not sure how it will react.
If you are considering adding a pet to your family, or you already have one, give your broker a call. They’ll make sure you’re protected.