Dog bites can be costly: are you and your pet insured?

VANCOUVER – You may have added a new member to your family during the pandemic. Have you spoken to your insurance company? Pets are great, but they come with financial risks.

An upsurge in dog bites has been reported. A children’s hospital in the United States reported a 300% increase, and that could be due to a number of factors, including increased stress at home. When a dog bites, the consequences are devastating for the victim and can be financially crippling for a dog owner. Expensive lawsuits are common after vicious attacks.

Sandra Wong in Burnaby recently had a new puppy. This is a Bernedoodle named Ollie, a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and a Poodle. She says this is her first dog and that she chose him because of his docile nature. However, she takes him to behavior classes and receives training herself to make sure he grows up to be a well-behaved puppy.

“You can tell he’s a bit of a dominant male. You can already feel it in him, ”Wong said.

Animals like humans can be unpredictable. Sometimes a calm animal can be provoked and bite. Others may attack without provocation.

If you have a pandemic animal, you need to protect yourself.

“Let your insurance representative know that you have a pet,” said Rob de Prius, director of consumer and industry relations at the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

“I literally had to go online and click on the fact that I have a puppy now,” Wong said.

Typically, homeowners and renters insurance will cover you up to $ 1 million in liability. The insurer will want to know your dog’s breed and size and other details, including veterinary care, vaccines, etc.

If you live in a condominium or are a tenant, you will need to check your building regulations before having a pet.

“Review the regulations because if they don’t allow a pet, it could potentially void your insurance coverages,” Prius said. “Full disclosure is always the best policy. “

You should also check local city regulations to see if certain breeds are restricted. The bigger the dog, the bigger the bite, and if someone is attacked, the injuries can be catastrophic and lasting.

“Hope you never have to use it, but if you ever do, you want to make sure you’re completely covered,” Wong said.