Have you ever wondered what could happen if your leash broke and your dog ran across the street? Dogs can be very clumsy, and in a scenario like this, you can't hold them accountable. You, as the owner, are responsible for your dog. This is where liability insurance comes in handy. Keep reading for more information on dog liability insurances.
Why invest in dog liability insurance?
You might have a small to a medium-sized dog and think your dog can't cause any harm. However, there are several cases of small dogs attacking humans or even other dogs. The owner is automatically responsible for the damage caused by his or her animal. Even if you were not present when the damage occurred, you are obligated to pay for the damages resulting from your pet. Dog liability covers personal injury, property damage, and financial loss that your dog has caused. Personal injuries are also covered by dog liability insurance.
Is it mandatory?
In Germany, each federal state can decide for itself whether dog owners are obliged to take out dog liability insurance for their furry friends or not. In some federal states, the decision is even left to the individual municipalities. Check out this table below to find out if your state has regulations for dog liability insurance:
What to look out for in liability insurance
What is insured?
Stay abroad (EU and worldwide)
The insurance covers damage in other European countries. You are covered, for example, if your dog overlooks a cyclist who gets injured while on vacation in Paris. Some insurance companies even offer worldwide coverage. However, this offer is mostly limited to a certain amount of time, like 48 months, for example.
Walking without a leash
This covers any damages caused by your dog, even if they weren't on a leash.
You are covered if your dog causes damages in dog school, for example, training material or the teacher.
Who is insured?
If your dog causes harm while your friend or neighbor is watching them, the insurance will cover the damages.
Dog owner + family members
The group of insured includes you and all your family members living in your household. For example, if a family member walks with your dog and it causes damage, you are covered.
The sum insured indicates the maximum amount that the insurance company will pay in the event of a claim. For example, your dog runs across the street, causing cars to brake abruptly and crash into each other. Here an insurance amount of at least 5 million € is recommended.
Depending on the insurance, it either provides full coverage without a deductible, or you contribute a small amount to the excess. Example: If damage is worth 750 € and your deductible is at 200 €, the insurance company will cover 550 €, and you pay the excess 200 €.
Co-insurance for puppies
If your dog gives birth, the puppies are also covered for the damage they could cause. However, this only applies until a certain age. The puppies must then be covered by their own dog liability insurance.
What is covered?
Damage to someone else's possessions or personal property (e.g. if your dog damages the shoes of your visitors).
An injury caused by your dog to a person's mind, emotions, or body (e.g. compensation for treatment costs after an attack).
Financial loss as a result of personal injury or damage to property (e.g. loss of earnings for an injured veterinarian).
This service protects against expensive repair or reimbursement costs on rented rooms that your dog causes (e.g. if your dog damages the door of the rented apartment). Or on facilities such as hotels (e.g. if your dog damages the hotel bed).
It is important to keep in mind that offers from insurance companies might differ. Some provide more and some fewer services. In some cases, you won't even need certain services (e.g. stay abroad). If you want to find the best insurance tailored to your dogs and your needs, consult with an insurance advisor.
Annual costs vary depending on your insurance, what services it entails, how high your deductible and insurance sum is, and in some cases, what breed your dog is. Dog liability insurances are very affordable and helpful at the same time. Most insurances only cost between 35 € to 50 € annually. Here's are Germanys top five insurance companies for dog liability insurances in 2020:
- Die Haftpflichtkasse
- Hanse Merkur
Whether you take out dog liability insurance or not is (partially) your own decision. But keep in mind that for a small amount of money, you are financially protected from any mishaps your dog might cause. Even if you think you have the sweetest puppy ever. If you want to read more about insurances, feel free to check out our posts about dog and cat health care insurances. Until then, stay happy and healthy!