Just when we thought that insurance couldn’t get any more confusing, have you ever heard of public liability insurance for pets? I’m going to go out on a limb and say that you haven’t (because I actually hadn’t either!). Let’s delve into the wonderful world of insurance and see what public liability cover is all about.
Table of contents
What is pet insurance?
But first, let’s start nice and simple – what is pet insurance? Pet insurance is a payment plan put in place in case your pet needs medical or surgical treatment. It can be paid as a monthly instalment or can be paid as a yearly total lump sum. Pet insurance will often cover different health conditions that your pet may experience and helps to pay towards vet bills.
Insurance is available for all different types of pets and taking out insurance cover is strongly advised.
What’s public liability insurance?
If public liability is part of your insurance policy, it can help to cover costs that are associated with damage that your pet may cause to members of the public or other people’s property. To better understand this, let’s have a look at a scenario.
“You take your dog out for a walk in a field. A stranger approaches and tries to stroke your dog. Feeling anxious and fearful, your dog bites the stranger.”
In this instance, your dog has unfortunately caused harm to a member of the public. In some situations, the member of the public may decide to take civil action against you, as the owner, and a court may rule that you have to pay compensation to the third party.
If this situation was to occur, then your pet liability insurance would help to cover the costs associated with the injury claim. If you did not have liability insurance in place, then you would be responsible for these costs at your own expense.
Let’s take another look at a different scenario.
“You take your dog to a friend’s house. They are a bouncy Labrador and knock over an expensive piece of furniture, causing damage.”
In this situation, liability insurance may cover the costs associated with the damage sustained to a member of the public’s property. Public liability insurance may cover the costs for the repair or replacement of an object. If you did not have insurance in place, then you may be responsible for these costs.
What will public liability insurance cover?
Public liability insurance can help to cover costs as a result of your animal’s actions. This can include costs:
- That are associated with injuries to another animal, such as another dog, as a result of your pet’s actions.
- Associated with breakages or damage to a member of the public’s property as a result of your pet’s actions.
- That are associated with injuries sustained to members of the public as a result of your animal’s behaviour.
Public liability insurance can help to cover the costs associated with the above situations, including legal fees, vets’ bills and damage costs.
How do I know if I have public liability insurance?
You’ll be pleased to hear that public liability insurance is covered in most pet insurance policies, especially in dogs. Dogs are considered a higher risk and therefore public liability insurance is included in most lifetime policies.
If you are unsure whether your insurance policy includes public liability insurance, speak with your pet insurance company. If it is not included as standard in your pet’s cover, there may be an option to add it onto the policy for an extra fee.
Does cat pet insurance cover public liability?
Cat lifetime insurance policies often cover public liability. If you are unsure, then look through your pet insurance documents or speak with your insurance provider directly.
Are any animals excluded from public liability cover?
Yes, there may be some exclusions in regards to public liability cover. These include:
- Dogs that are on the dangerous dogs list.
- Exotic animals that may pose a risk to human health or property. This includes some reptiles, primates and insects.
- Working animals may have a separate insurance policy due to the nature of their work. If you have an insurance policy for a working animal, check with your insurance provider to see what level of cover they have.
Final thoughts on public liability cover
Public liability insurance cover protects you as the owner from costs associated with your pet causing harm or damage to a third party. This includes both members of the public and their property. Public liability cover is found in most insurance policies but ensure that you check your insurance documents. If your pet is not insured, it is important to insure them as soon as possible in order to avoid potentially unaffordable bills in the future.