Pets

Home Insurance coverage against dog bites?

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 23rd, 2023 2:12 pm
Sr. Member
Jun 8, 2019
549 posts
630 upvotes

Home Insurance coverage against dog bites?

How does home insurance cover me if my dog bites someone?

My policy says something along the lines of "Personal Liability Coverage: in case of damage done by an Animal you own" or something like that.

Does the dog have to be officially licensed by the city?

Do I need to specifically call my insurance company to register my dog with them?
I own a service with Public Mobile and with Fido.
15 replies
Sr. Member
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May 3, 2003
887 posts
827 upvotes
Toronto
Your home's personal liability coverage provisions likely include coverage for your liability arising out of your care (or failure to properly control) and ownership of a domestic pet like a dog. Read your insurance contract as home insurance is not standardized in any way, as far as I know, although that might vary depending on your province (doubt it).

Your dog not being licenced might mean you're in breach of a municipal by-law. It probably doesn't impact whether your home insurance would cover the dog biting incident but, again, check your contract. These contacts typically don't cover intentional, criminal and unlawful activity, but that would typically apply to a situation where you use your dog to attack as opposed to non-compliance with a by-law.

You should disclose EVERYTHING that might be relevant to your risk profile to your insurance company, including your dog. They might not care but that's up to them to decide.
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Jul 5, 2004
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Call your insurance company and ask them those questions. Get it in writing if you're concerned that your dog is an asshole
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Shaner wrote: Call your insurance company and ask them those questions. Get it in writing if you're concerned that your dog is an asshole
What an ignorant comment. Dogs can bite out of fear, because they are protecting, or for any number of other reasons that do not involve them being an asshole - something one would think you'd be an expert on.
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SkynyrdsInyrds wrote: What an ignorant comment. Dogs can bite out of fear, because they are protecting, or for any number of other reasons that do not involve them being an asshole - something one would think you'd be an expert on.
Geez, it was meant to be a joke.
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Jun 12, 2008
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If it's one of those handbag dogs I wouldn't really worry about it.

If its a dog of any size even if it's the famously good tempered Golden Retriever I'd be treating it like having a swimming pool or wood burning stove and letting your insurance company know (in writing if it were me).
Jr. Member
Feb 14, 2015
181 posts
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Mississauga, ON
some insurance companies exclude certain types of dogs due to their nature, i.e. Rottweilers and pit bulls, and/or have had bitten before. so, check with your insurance company their policy.
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Oct 2, 2018
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Sounds like you may wish to place signage on your property to the effect of "beware of dog, private property do not trespass" or similar, and if you have a dog that shows any sign of aggressiveness then keep on a leash while outside of the physical house even on your own property. In your backyard you can have a 20 or 30 foot wire leash fastened to a tree, gives the animal room to move around freely however not get out of the yard or private property. With the signage you should be covered as the animal is secured and warning visible for all to see. When on the street with an aggressive animal then a muzzle would be warranted, deal with the issue before someone is bitten not afterwards.
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Feb 28, 2023
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Ballroomblitz1 wrote: Sounds like you may wish to place signage on your property to the effect of "beware of dog, private property do not trespass" or similar, and if you have a dog that shows any sign of aggressiveness then keep on a leash while outside of the physical house even on your own property. In your backyard you can have a 20 or 30 foot wire leash fastened to a tree, gives the animal room to move around freely however not get out of the yard or private property. With the signage you should be covered as the animal is secured and warning visible for all to see. When on the street with an aggressive animal then a muzzle would be warranted, deal with the issue before someone is bitten not afterwards.
I would advise against these signs, as it's an admission that the owner knowingly has an aggressive dog. Could potentially make things worse. Best to just stick to a simple "No Trespassing" sign only.
People who say they like the hot weather are the same people who have air conditioned homes who also drive in air conditioned cars. The GTA has two seasons, road salt and construction.
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CrappyTire404 wrote: I would advise against these signs, as it's an admission that the owner knowingly has an aggressive dog. Could potentially make things worse. Best to just stick to a simple "No Trespassing" sign only.
Watched a documentary and lady was being sued by someone who came onto her gated property to repossess a car and was bitten by her dog. The lady had the dog tied up on a long leash in the front of her gated property however the dog could still move around albeit confined to the property itself. The lady also had signage for beware of dog posted for anyone entering her property to see.

In court after arguments were heard, the judge dismissed the lawsuit, leash confining to own gated property with signage was sufficient as anyone entering the property should have been aware and not have entered.

Put up a sign or not means nothing to me, however if i had a dog who shows a preponderance of being agitated and aggressive i would put up signage for not only my protection, but to others that may inadvertently and unknowingly come in contact even within the boundaries of my own home. Having an aggressive dog even while being watched on your own property can cause physical injury to a teenager/child who inadvertently jumps a fence playing hide n seek. It would be criminal to not have signage to warn any person (or kid playing), we love our pets however safety of others has to be forefront in our minds as well.

Ontario Regulations (googled)
In the Ontario province, the following breeds are prohibited from entering or transiting:

Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Toronto also has a ban on these breeds; however, they can transit through the city only after the pet travel agent has provided advance notice to the city officials.

Banned dogs that have been in the province before the enactment of this law in 2005 have to be sterilised and kept on a lead and muzzled when they are out in public. So if you are travelling to Canada with a banned breed, make sure your travel plans do no take your dog through these provinces.
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Ballroomblitz1 wrote: Watched a documentary and lady was being sued by someone who came onto her gated property to repossess a car and was bitten by her dog. The lady had the dog tied up on a long leash in the front of her gated property however the dog could still move around albeit confined to the property itself. The lady also had signage for beware of dog posted for anyone entering her property to see.

In court after arguments were heard, the judge dismissed the lawsuit, leash confining to own gated property with signage was sufficient as anyone entering the property should have been aware and not have entered.

Put up a sign or not means nothing to me, however if i had a dog who shows a preponderance of being agitated and aggressive i would put up signage for not only my protection, but to others that may inadvertently and unknowingly come in contact even within the boundaries of my own home. Having an aggressive dog even while being watched on your own property can cause physical injury to a teenager/child who inadvertently jumps a fence playing hide n seek. It would be criminal to not have signage to warn any person (or kid playing), we love our pets however safety of others has to be forefront in our minds as well.
If that person had an authorized order to repo a car, then that judge was wrong. Think of it like this, if a cop comes onto your property warrant or not, sign or not and they get bit because you possess a dangerous animal you think they wont fight tooth and nail to ream your backside till you pay up and the animal gets euthanized? I would most certainly contest the judge in a follow up suit, provided I wasn't just some random dumbass sneaking into private property for no good reason.

But to each their own. I would rather not have signage up and figure out how to train my Dog better. If the animal cannot be trained to be calmer around people, then the owner needs to re-think owning a dangerous animal.

Also to the OP, almost every city requires a pet license. And it must be updated annually.

Edit : I guess there is one exception , apparently Toronto mandated dangerous dog signs back in 2016. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ ... -1.3895972

So if the OP lives in Toronto and your dog has already been deemed dangerous you have to have these signs on your property.
Last edited by CrappyTire404 on Sep 20th, 2023 12:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
People who say they like the hot weather are the same people who have air conditioned homes who also drive in air conditioned cars. The GTA has two seasons, road salt and construction.
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Jul 31, 2017
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CrappyTire404 wrote: If that person had an authorized order to repo a car, then that judge was wrong.

And you're basing this on your vast legal training and experience are you?
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Jul 31, 2017
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Ballroomblitz1 wrote: Watched a documentary and lady was being sued by someone who came onto her gated property to repossess a car and was bitten by her dog. The lady had the dog tied up on a long leash in the front of her gated property however the dog could still move around albeit confined to the property itself. The lady also had signage for beware of dog posted for anyone entering her property to see.

In court after arguments were heard, the judge dismissed the lawsuit, leash confining to own gated property with signage was sufficient as anyone entering the property should have been aware and not have entered.

Put up a sign or not means nothing to me, however if i had a dog who shows a preponderance of being agitated and aggressive i would put up signage for not only my protection, but to others that may inadvertently and unknowingly come in contact even within the boundaries of my own home. Having an aggressive dog even while being watched on your own property can cause physical injury to a teenager/child who inadvertently jumps a fence playing hide n seek. It would be criminal to not have signage to warn any person (or kid playing), we love our pets however safety of others has to be forefront in our minds as well.

Ontario Regulations (googled)
In the Ontario province, the following breeds are prohibited from entering or transiting:

Pit Bull Terrier
American Pit Bull Terrier
American Staffordshire Terrier
Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Toronto also has a ban on these breeds; however, they can transit through the city only after the pet travel agent has provided advance notice to the city officials.

Banned dogs that have been in the province before the enactment of this law in 2005 have to be sterilised and kept on a lead and muzzled when they are out in public. So if you are travelling to Canada with a banned breed, make sure your travel plans do no take your dog through these provinces.

"In the Ontario province"? Christ, who wrote that crap?
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Feb 28, 2023
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SkynyrdsInyrds wrote: And you're basing this on your vast legal training and experience are you?
Do you know how many times judges do things that are out of line? They have legal immunity, and can bend and pull strings as much as they want. You don't need to be a lawyer to know that.

People shouldn't be harboring dangerous animals anyways, it's not a damn Zoo or an Animal Rescue center. It's a civilian's house!

But I guess some people believe that then it's OK, just get a dangerous dog and put up a sign so no one can repo your car that you owe the bank payments on. Face With Tears Of Joy
People who say they like the hot weather are the same people who have air conditioned homes who also drive in air conditioned cars. The GTA has two seasons, road salt and construction.

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