No matter if Chihuahua or Great Dane: Every dog can cause grief to its owner or mistress if the four-legged unintentionally injures or damages their property. Without dog liability insurance, the owner is liable for such damage with his entire assets. The conclusion of the insurance is not always voluntary – in some federal states, no dog may be kept without corresponding liability.
Why is dog ownership so important?
Many dog owners find it hard to imagine that their four-legged friends could harm other people. In fact, the German Insurance Association (Gesamtverband der Deutschen Versicherungswirtschaft) records an average of 100,000 damages each year, which are regulated within the framework of the dog liability insurance. Without this protection, which is often referred to as dog owner liability insurance, dog owners must pay with their private assets for the damage. The protection is not only for the owner, but also for family members.
The following two examples illustrate the significant financial risk that dog owners incur without insurance.
|Dog bite with consequences||Dog causes car accident|
|When walking with the dog suddenly comes a strange four-legged friends to the team. There is a scramble between the dogs. The stranger dog jumps up at the person and bites him in the hand.||A dog suddenly runs across the street during the walk. A car driver can prevent the crash with the dog in the last second. The car behind, however, crashes into the car. This injure the inmates.|
|In the first instance, the injured party was awarded a compensation of 2,000 euros and another 1,560 euros for damaged clothing and glasses (LG Erfurt Az. 8 O 1517/11).||The dog owner must pay more than 80,000 euros for the damage to the vehicles, damages and compensation.|
While compulsory insurance for such dogs is classified as dangerous in most federal states, the degree is mandatory in some regions of Germany regardless of the breed, for example in Berlin, Lower Saxony and Thuringia.
Services of the dog liability and useful additional services
Insured persons can always rely on their dog liability insurance if their four-legged friend causes property, property or personal injury to other people. If the dog chews or scratches expensive furniture while the dog owner is visiting friends with him, the insurance jumps in as well as in the case when strangers or a dog sitter are bitten. If injured parties can not work for a certain time due to the incident, the loss of earnings is insured. If the dog injures other four-legged friends, the dog liability for the veterinary costs.
The examples show that in many situations it can be tricky for dog owners – even if their four-legged friend has the best education.
In order to be as fully secured as possible, there are some additional benefits that dog owners should attach importance to. These include:
No leash : In many places, the dog must be kept on a leash. Disregard dog owner the rule and it comes in the course of damage, but the insurance pays.
Lease damage : This covers damage that the dog causes in privately used rental apartments, for example, when the four-legged scratched a door or biting door slats.
Failure cover : Not every dog owner has a dog liability insurance or is financially able to meet claims for damages. In such a case, this supplement protects insured persons from sitting on the damage caused to them or their dog by a strange quadruped.
Counterparty risk : The protection of the insurance applies even if the dog is not supervised by the owner, but by another person.
Cover damage : If there is an unwanted cover act, the dog liability for the resulting costs, such as for abortion or puppy rearing.
How is the contribution for the dog liability insurance calculated?
The costs of the dog liability are initially based on the selected benefits and the amount of the coverage. This should not be less than three million euros. Many insurers now offer by default a sum of five, 20 or even 50 million euros. In addition, the breed of dog influences the insurance contribution. Owners of large dogs and four-legged animals classified as dangerous therefore have to pay more for protection depending on the provider.
By contrast, a deductible has a negative effect on the contribution. The more the insured is willing to pay out of his own pocket in case of damage, the cheaper the dog liability. Also, an annual payment reward many insurers with a discount.
Current test winner for the dog liability insurance
Dog liability insurance tests are rarely published. Stiftung Warentest, for example, let six years elapse before it conducted a new study in the spring of 2016 with almost 60 providers in comparison. All tariffs offer a basic protection. This means that dog carers, rent damage, a stay abroad and cover damage are insured. Dog puppies are also insured at least until the age of six months. The protection of the dog liability also applies if insured violate keeper obligations.
The annual fee for the 40 cheapest offers varies between 58 and 131 euros. According to Stiftung Warentest, the following insurers charge less than 70 euros per year:
- NV “Premium”
- Ammerländer “Comfort”
- Bavaria Direct / Ovag
- GMO “Smart and easy”
- VHV “Classic Guarantor”
- Janito’s “Balance”