Have you ever wondered what could happen if your leash breaks and your dog runs across the street? Dogs can be very clumsy and in such a case you cannot hold them responsible. You, as the owner, are responsible for your dog. This is where liability insurance comes into play. Read on to learn more about dog liability insurance.
Why invest in dog liability insurance?
You may have a small to medium sized dog and think your dog can't do any harm. However, there are several instances of small dogs attacking people or even other dogs. The owner is automatically responsible for the damage caused by his animal. Even if you were not present when the damage occurred, you are responsible for paying for the damage caused by your animal. Dog liability covers personal injury, property damage and financial loss caused by your dog. Personal injury is 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 friend or not. In some federal states, the decision is even left to the individual municipalities. In the following table you can find out whether there are regulations for dog liability insurance in your state:
What to look out for
What is insured?
Stays abroad (EU and worldwide)
Some insurance companies even offer worldwide coverage. However, this offer is usually only limited to a certain period of time, e.g. B. to 48 months. The insurance then covers, for example, damage in other European countries.
Walking without a leash
This insurance covers all damage caused by your dog - even if he was not on a leash.
You are insured if your dog causes damage at the dog school, e.g. B. Damage to the teaching material or to the teacher himself.
Who is insured?
When your dog causes damage while your friend or neighbor is watching him.
dog owners and family members
This group of insured includes you and all other family members living in your household. For example, if a family member takes your dog for a walk and it causes damage, your family member is insured.
The sum insured indicates the maximum amount that the insurance company will pay in the event of a claim. Example: Your dog runs across the street and causes a car accident. An insurance sum of at least €5 million is recommended here.
Depending on the insurance, you can choose between full coverage with no deductible, or a deductible with a small amount. Example: In the event of damage of €750 and a deductible of €200, the insurance company will pay €550 and you pay a deductible of €200.
Co-insurance for puppies
If your dog gives birth to puppies, the puppies are also insured for any damage they might cause. However, this only applies up to a certain age. After that, the puppies must be covered by their own dog liability insurance.
What is insured?
Damage to someone else's property or personal property (e.g. if your dog nibbles on your visitors' shoes)
Injury to someone's mind, feelings, or body caused by your dog (e.g., compensation for medical expenses after an attack)
Financial losses as a result of personal injury or property damage (e.g. loss of earnings for an injured veterinarian)
This service protects against expensive repair or reimbursement costs on rented rooms caused by your dog. (e.g. if your dog breaks the door of your rented apartment). This insurance cover also applies to establishments such as hotels.
It is important to know that offers from different insurance companies can vary. Some insurance companies offer more, others less benefits. In some cases you do not need certain services at all, such as a stay abroad. If you are looking for the best insurance option for you and your four-legged friend, it is best to consult an insurance advisor.
The annual costs vary depending on the insurance and the benefits it includes, the amount of the deductible and the sum insured, and in some cases even the breed of your dog. Dog liability insurance is very cheap and helpful at the same time. As a rule, most insurances only cost between €30 and €50 per year. Here are the five best insurance companies in Germany for dog liability insurance (as of 2020):
- The liability fund
- Hanseatic Mercury
Whether you want to take out dog liability insurance or not is (partially) your own decision. But remember, for a small fee, you can be financially protected from almost any mishap your dog might cause.
If you want to read more about insurance, check out our posts on dog and cat health insurance.
Until then, stay happy and healthy!