Muscular dogs with thick chests are usually excluded from homeowners’ insurance policies. However, there are some insurers that cover any breed of dog if there is no bite history.2 It is also recommended to have an umbrella or excess liability policy in place if you own a dog, regardless of the breed.
Guest Medical Coverage
This coverage helps pay for medical expenses if one of your guests is accidentally injured on or around your property. Claims such as emergency room visits, X-rays, and surgical procedures are typically covered. Guest medical is different from liability coverage. A guest does not need to take legal action against you to be afforded coverage under guest medical benefits.
Are There Liability Exclusions in My Homeowner’s Policy?
The liability coverage afforded in a homeowner’s policy is broad, but there are standard exclusions that usually center around the following:
- Losses related to business operations
- Incidents arising from the use or maintenance of a motor vehicle
- Injury to a relative that resides at the property
- Flood damage
It is important to understand what coverage is included with your policy. If you have questions, call your insurance professional.
I Have Been Served With a Lawsuit — Now What?
A homeowner’s insurance policy outlines contractual responsibilities in the event of a loss. However, there may be times when you are unaware that a loss occurred until you are served with a lawsuit. For example, someone tripped on your steps when you were not home and broke an arm, or your child took the dog for a walk and the dog nipped someone, but no one told you.
If you are served with a lawsuit, do the following:
- Contact/notify your broker or insurer of the event.
- Send documentation collected at the time of the event to your broker or insurance carrier.
- Forward copies of all legal documents received (Complaints, Summons, etc.) to your broker or insurance carrier.
Policies typically state that policyholders are required to give reasonable notice to the insurance carrier in the event of a loss. This means that notification must be timely. You also have a duty to assist the insurance company with the claim. For example, if the carrier wants to examine the property, you must give them access. If coverage applies, the insurance carrier will typically pay for the cost of investigation, legal expenses, and emergency service if needed.