More cities are moving to enforce restrictions on dangerous dogs and in recent moves, some are making new insurance requirements for the owners of “dangerous dogs”.
In the suburb of Royal Oak in Detroit, officials have had enough with recent vicious dog attacks and have decided to enforce new rules on those animals. As reported by the Detroit Free Press, in October a Doberman pinscher left outside a grocery store attacked a man and severely injured him. Police have also been forced to shoot some pit bulls that mauled a small dog.
The city commission, Patricia Capello was behind the push for new dangerous dog laws which include secure yard requirements, obedience training, a microchip implanted on the animal and a $1 million liability insurance policy.
Capello suggests that despite the $1 million policy requirement seeming to be a bit high, it is required so that people don’t lose their homes, saying “It’s worth it to have the peace of mind that you won’t lose your home”.
With a dangerous dog there is potential for serious injuries or death to other people or animals, so that level of policy probably is the right amount. A liability insurance policy of that level is expected to cost around $110 per year.
Other suburbs like Farmington Hills already have a requirement for $1 million in liability insurance for owners of dogs with a history of bites or attacks, so Royal Oak is not going it alone in instigating this policy. In fact it is expected that many other suburbs with dangerous dogs will follow this policy. Waterford and Westland also require insurance policies, but not to the same extent.
There is also a chance for dog owners to have their pet reclassifed so it is no longer considered “dangerous” if it has a good track record with no instances of escaping their yard without the owner or biting any people (or other animals).
It is another thing to consider when selecting your pet – could there be additional expenses coming from insurance policy requirements if you choose a breed that is more likely to be dangerous. More suburbs and cities are likely to move to similar kinds of requirements as deaths and injuries to dog attacks continue to rise in the United States. Some pet insurance policies do contain an allowance for dog bites, so it is worth checking your policy to determine exactly how much you may be protected. Usually any liability insurance in a pet insurance plan will not reach the required $1 million in liability insurance so you may be required to have 2 insurance policies.