Thursday, November 8, 2012

Is your pet insured on your homeowner’s policy?

Some of you may remember the story of the sales associate at Home Depot who was bit by a customer’s Shih Tzu last summer.  She was bending down to pet the dog when it leaped out and bit her right in the face! The woman sustained severe injuries from the little pup and required plastic surgery in order to fix her torn off nose. 

The photo above is a Shih-Tzu; the same breed that is
responsible for the attack of the Home Depot Associate.

Regardless of the size, any dog can be dangerous.
 The 66-year-old customer was fined $610 by a bylaw officer and ordered to keep her 12-year-old Shih Tzu muzzled at all times in public.    

Even though the customer was reprimanded for her dog’s actions, the Home Depot employee still decided to take legal action against the dog’s owner. 

In this case, the employee would have sued against the Personal Liability portion of thecustomer’s property policy for the actions of the dog. Keep in mind that every claim is investigated on a case by case basis and that all insurance companies have different exclusions.In this situation, the insuring company did pay out the claim, however the amount was undisclosed. 

It’s important to know that a situation resulting in a liability claim can happen anywhere at anytime. Therefore, it’s important to have sufficient liability coverage on your tenants, condo or homeowners policy. In this case, it benefited the customer greatly as she did not have to bear the cost of the settlement.  

Contact your local broker for more information on liability coverage. 

*Please note that your pet is not insured on your policy as property. Meaning you would have no coverage for health benefits for your animal or coverage if they were to be stolen. 

Written by Genevieve St-Denis, Account Executive,
Rhodes & Williams Limited

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