If your dog injures someone or causes damage to someone else’s property, then third party dog insurance could cover you should someone make a claim against you. Here’s what you need to know…

What is third party dog insurance?

Third party dog insurance could cover you in the event that your dog injures a person, another dog or damages something. As long as your dog has shown no signs of aggression prior to the policy being taken out, then third party insurance can cover: vet bills, legal fees and damage costs.

The latest research shows that in England there are more than 2,800 hospital cases annually, due to dog bites or attacks.

Third Party Dog Insurance

Why do I need it?

Third party insurance isn’t just about covering you in the event of your dog being vicious to someone or another animal – it could cover you if your dog accidentally knocked someone over and caused harm. Or, perhaps their wagging tail takes out an expensive item.

If your dog does injure someone, the costs can be very high. That’s why third party liability insurance, as it’s known, comes with typical limits of £1 million or more.

You may think your dog would never deliberately harm anyone or anything, and you’re probably right, but third party dog insurance can cover unexpected vet bills, damage costs and legal fees (should you need to defend yourself in court).

How do I get cover?

If you take out a ‘lifetime’ or a ’maximum benefit’ pet insurance plan, third party cover will probably come as standard. If you take out another form of pet insurance, third party liability cover may need to be added as an optional layer of additional cover.
Be sure to check all the terms and conditions of your policy as cover does vary among insurance providers.

Dog owner Reanna Harrison says: "I have lifetime cover for my Great Dane Kingston just because it was so important to get third party insurance included. Although he’s friendly, he’s just so big and gets excited easily, so we worry about him knocking people over when he jumps up. He’s been known to be a bit destructive too; I was mortified to find out he’d destroyed my friend’s football boots, and he’s broken mirrors with that tail of his! I’d hate to think of the financial repercussions had it not been a family friend, or had it been something even more expensive."

how do I get third party cover for my pet?

What about dangerous dogs?

Under the Dangerous Dogs Act UK, it’s illegal for a dog to be ‘out of control’ or to bite or attack someone. No matter the size of your dog, or how friendly they are, the Dangerous Dogs Act still applies to you and you could be held liable. The legislation also makes it an offence if a person is worried or afraid that a dog may bite them.

Under the Act, four breeds are specifically categorised as dangerous dogs: the Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Fila Braziliero and the Japanese Tosa.

Pet insurance can be, as you can imagine, more complicated if you own such a breed. Ownership of these dogs is banned unless they’ve been successfully registered on the Index of Exempted Dogs. If your dog is registered, then you must have third party liability insurance included in your policy.

We do not provide insurance quotes for dangerous dogs. However, you could contact insurance providers directly to see if it is possible to find third party cover for these breeds.

If you’re concerned about your dog’s behaviour, take a look at the RSPCA’s guide to finding a behaviourist.

How can I find third party dog insurance?

Comparing policies that include third party liability cover couldn’t be easier with our comparison service. Simply tell us a bit about you and your dog and we’ll provide you with a range of different policy options and levels of cover. If you click on ‘more details’ on the price presentation screen, you’ll see the breakdown of the cover offered under each policy.

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