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Insurance against Dog Bites

In the United Kingdom, Home Secretary Alan Johnson and the Environment Secretary, Hilary Benn have unveiled a consultation that should help protect dogs being abused by their owners. It is also hoped that some of the measures may help to dissuade people from buying certain types of animal, particularly the dangerous’ trophy status” animals. Ideas, include passing a law which states that animals have to be micro chipped and bringing in a compulsory insurance to compensate victims of dog bites. With regard to the insurance aspect, at the present moment, most Uk home insurance policies already provide public liability insurance cover for dogs unless they are designated as dangerous under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. (This law was introduced to help protect the public against injury caused by dogs deemed to be dangerous) The law covers.

1. any dog of the type known as the pit bull terrier.
2. any dog of the type known as the Japanese tosa; and
3. any dog of any type designated by an order of the Secretary of State, being a type appearing to him to be bred for fighting or to have the characteristics of a type bred for that purpose

The amount of cover available under a home insurance public liability section does vary, but £2,000,000 is now a fairly typical amount. Most home insurance policies extend cover to also include Cats & Horses. UK insurers will not provide cover for outlawed animals and this is clearly stated in policy wordings.

If this becomes law, it will pose a problem for persons who do not have home insurance and they will face the prospect of having to either effect a home insurance policy ( which will of course have the added benefit of covering their contents and possibly personal belongings, cover will automatically be provided under the liability section) or, as an alternative, effecting a specialist dog insurance policy ( and there are lots on the market) which should also provide cover under one of the policy sections. The price of dog insurance, will vary depending on a number of underwriting factors and the policy sections chosen. At this point, under a home insurance policy, there is usually no warranty that dogs are micro chipped to prove identity. The cost of this procedure varies from area to area, starting from approximately £20.00

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