Third Party Liability Dog Insurance - Public Liability Dog Insurance Explained

Third Party Liability Dog Insurance

It is a common misconception that third party liability dog insurance is a waste of money. You should consider the fact that dogs are generally playful creatures that like to explore the surrounding world and to meet new people. Sometimes, they may cause an accident or do harm while playing. In this case, you will need such insurance. Find out what it covers and how it works to protect you and your pet.

What is third party liability dog insurance?

This type of insurance is designed to protect you financially in case your pet is responsible for causing bodily injury or property damage to third parties. The cover can also be used in case the actions of your dog have led to the death of a person or to the complete destruction of property.

In the UK, the owners of dogs can be held legally responsible for their actions. This means that if your pet causes any of the above-mentioned problems, the person suffering from an injury or incurring a material loss may sue you for compensation. If the court finds you guilty for not preventing your pet from causing the respective injury or property damage, you will be obliged to pay the set compensation amount.

In case you do not have third party liability dog insurance, you will have to pay the entire compensation amount out of your pocket. If you have such a policy, however, the insurer will do this. It should be pointed out that the underwriter can pay compensation up to the maximum amount set on your policy. Another thing to note is that you will have to pay an excess when making a claim. Hence, you will receive the claimed amount, which can be up to the policy limit, minus the excess.

Usually, third party liability dog insurance is not available in the form of a separate policy. This type of cover is included in the general pet insurance package in most cases. Some companies include it automatically while others allow you to choose it optionally.

In general, you are highly recommended to buy such a cover. In today's world people can make not only rightful claims, but also quite ridiculous ones and they can be accepted by the court. For instance, if your pooch runs closely by a person in the park and this person accidently falls and hurts their arm in this very moment, your dog may be blamed for the accident and you may be required to pay the hospital treatment expenses of the person. It is worth being protected from such claims.

Are there exclusions to third party liability dog insurance?

Not all canine pets are eligible for third party liability dog insurance. Usually, dogs used for labour, trade, business and hunting cannot be covered by such policies. The same applies to breeds which are considered dangerous. Each company has its own list of canines which are not eligible for such a cover. In most cases, this list contains all breeds which have been defined as dangerous to the public by the Dangerous Dog Act from 1991. Check specifically with the insurer whether your pet can be covered or not.

All public liability dog insurance policies do not provide compensation in case the person suffering from an injury or incurring property damage caused by the pet is the owner, a member of the owner's family or someone living or working with the owner. If a guest to your home has their leather bag due to your pet's actions, you will have to pay them compensation. However, if your partner's tennis racket gets damaged because of the animal's chewing, they will not receive anything.

It should be pointed out that damage to cars is not typically excluded from the third party liability dog insurance. This is because under the Animals Act from 1971 pets can be held responsible for causing damage to vehicles. For instance, if your pet runs on the street and this leads to two cars clashing, the dog and respectively you will be held responsible for the damages caused.

How much coverage can you buy?

The amount of coverage available with third party liability dog insurance is usually over £1 million. The maximum amount is typically £2 million. In general, you can purchase any amount of coverage in between. The numbers are so big because a seriously injured person can make a court claim against you for quite a lot of money.

How much does such a policy cost?

Since third party liability dog insurance is usually available as part of a standard package, the premium is tiny. For instance, if this cover comes with another nine and your premium is £10, you will pay just £1 for it. Even if you buy such insurance separately, it will not cost much.

You will have to pay an excess if you make a claim on this policy. The amount of the excess is usually fixed. It is usually fairly big compared to the premium. Most excess fees range from £100 to £250. However, this amount of money is tiny compared to the amount of coverage which you will be able to use.

You are highly recommended to purchase third party liability dog insurance, even if you have a friendly and relaxed well-trained pet.