How Owning a Dog Can Affect Your Home Insurance
Your dog may be your best friend and part of the family, but it’s also considered your property. That’s why owning a dog can affect your home insurance. Here’s what dog owners need to know when it comes to house insurance.
Dogs And Liability
Statistics show that around half a million dog bites occur every year in Canada, and dog attacks kill one or two people annually. Even the most docile dog may bite if provoked. If your dog bites and injures someone, you’re subject to liability.
Under Nova Scotia’s Occupier’s Liability Act, dog owners are responsible if someone gets bitten or attacked while on their property. Even if the dog doesn’t have a history of biting or attacking, and even if you tried to restrain the dog, you’re still liable. It also doesn’t matter if the injured person provoked your dog; the injured party could still file a lawsuit against you.
Unforeseen circumstances are why you need the protection of house insurance with liability coverage. Some policies may offer coverage if your dog damages someone else’s property. Contact your insurance broker to ensure your home, condo or tenant insurance policy has adequate liability coverage. If you’re applying for a new policy, you may be asked if you own a pet; be truthful in your application and update your policy if your status changes.
Dog Breeds and Home Insurance
Some home insurance providers won’t cover you if you own a certain breed of dog. And though we may not agree the following breeds are those considered most dangerous:
- Pit bulls
- Staffordshire bull terriers
- American Staffordshire terriers
- German shepherds
- Siberian huskies
As of March 2023, Nova Scotia has no plans to adopt breed-specific legislation (BSL), which would make it illegal to own certain breeds of dogs. However, some municipalities and communities in the province have banned specific breeds. That’s why it’s essential to be forthcoming with your insurance broker about what types of dogs you own.
Preventing Dog Attacks
Preventing dog attacks is the best way to protect yourself from potential litigation. Here are some tips.
- Never leave children or babies alone with a dog
- Teach your kids how to play gently with dogs
- Keep your dog on a leash when on a walk
- Sign your dog up for obedience lessons and socialize it with other dogs and people
Finally, ensure your dog’s vaccinations are up-to-date, especially for rabies.
Home Insurance in Halifax, Nova Scotia
At Eisenhauer Insurance Inc., our insurance brokers can help you find a home insurance policy that protects you, your family and your pet. We serve clients throughout Nova Scotia from our offices in Halifax and Dartmouth. Contact us today to schedule a no-pressure, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced brokers.