Dog owners: protect yourself from an expensive dog bite claim


Do you have a dog? If so, you want to be sure that your dog is trained, that you comply with any state or local restraint laws, and that you are adequately covered by your insurance. Although the number of dog bite claims is trending down, the cost for those claims is trending up – the average dog bite claim is now $37,214. That’s the national average so depending on where you live, the cost might be higher: Arizona was $56,654, California is $44,983 and New York is $44,320. Ouch.

May 15 through 21 is dog Bite Prevention Week. Learn how to prevent dog bites and how to keep dogs from taking a bite out of your insurance.

The Insurance Information Institute has some great information on Dog Bite Liability:

There are three kinds of law that impose liability on owners:

1) A dog-bite statute: where the dog owner is automatically liable for any injury or property damage the dog causes without provocation.
2) The one-bite rule: where the dog owner is responsible for an injury caused by a dog if the owner knew the dog was likely to cause that type of injury—in this case, the victim must prove the owner knew the dog was dangerous.
3) Negligence laws: where the dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because the dog owner was unreasonably careless (negligent) in controlling the dog.

Also, see our prior post about 10 dog breeds that might cause problems with your home insurance

Some insurance companies will limit homeowners insurance availability based on dog breed or dog history. PropertyCasualty360 has an article on the 10 dog breeds most often blacklisted by home insurance carriers.

Many insurance companies don’t have a blanket breed ban. The MSPCA cites several national insurers that will instead “… work on a case by case basis, considering the individual dog’s behavior and history, and may require a meet and greet with the dog and/or a Canine Good Citizen certification.”

And here’s a good infographic from the American Veterinary Medical Association:

dog bite infographic

Yard Sale Season: A what-you-need-to-know toolkit


We’re heading in to prime yard sale season. Whether you’re planning to be a buyer or a seller, we have a few resources to help you map out a successful and profitable season!

First, if you are planning to host a yard sale, check out our prior post, Garage sale planning tip: Check your insurance coverage to get some advice about any liability issues you may face – we’ve re-posted the video clip below. Also see Jay McDonald’s article on yard sale insurance in Bankrate.

And for planning, Yardsale Queen offers tips for how to have a successful yard sale and offers advice on yard sale scams to avoid. Also see A Yard Sale Checklist: Ten Tips for Garage Sale Prep and How to Hold a Garage Sale – a pictorial guide.

Whether you are a seller or a buyer, you can use tools like Yard Sale Search and Garage Sale mapper to list or locate local events.

And if you are a buyer, then buyer beware: 21 Things You Should Never Buy at Garage Sales. But don’t let that discourage you – there are great deals to be had, too: 20+ Garage Sale Finds to Snap Up When You See Them.

You Had One Job: Funny on-the-job flubs


Mistakes happen in life, even big ones. Insurance can help you with the costly ones.

carrotsWe can’t think of a better site to kick off the work week than “You Had One Job.”  This is a site that documents  on-the-job blunders, flubs and screw-ups. We see photo after photo of poor workmanship – poorly designed products, stairs that lead to nowhere, embarrassing sign typos and mislabeled products. While some are no doubt mistakes, we have to think that many must be passive-aggressive in the “take this job and shove it” genre. We’ve included a sampling of a few of our favorites below – click for more. (And here’s hoping your work week goes better than it did for these hapless workers!)

drawers

cheesyfrzeeer

How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in New England (Safely)


st.pats-parade

On Monday, everyone will be a little bit Irish. Gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations on the weekend and on Monday, we’ve gathered some links about New England activities and ways to celebrate around the area – or even in your own home. Remember – even for the Irish, there’s a limit to luck so don’t take chances with your celebrations :

  • Plan for a designated driver
  • Don’t let friends drive buzzed
  • If you host a party at home, be aware of your hosting liability

Best St. Patrick’s Day Parades and Celebrations in New England

St. Patrick’s Day In New England

Take 10 – New England’s Best Irish pubs – Just be sure to bring a designated driver!

St. Patrick’s Day Parades By State

All Recipes: St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

Food Network: Favorite St. Patrick’s Day Recipes

Epicurious: St. Patrick’s Day Party Foods and Drinks

Coming Up: National Dog Bite Prevention Week


Next week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week. If you own a dog, you need to pay attention because dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2012, costing more than $489 million. While the number of bites has declined, the cost of claims continues to rise – the average cost paid out for dog bite claims was $29,752. For more on the ins and outs of insurance issues related to dog ownership, see our prior post, Insurance and Your Dog.
Postal workers – a group of folks who are particularly at risk of dog bites – issued their annual list of top dog attack city rankings, along with their tips for preventing dog bites … and they certainly have experience in that area. If you haven’t yet seen it, visit former mail carrier Ryan Bradford’s posting, All the Dogs Want to Kill Me, where he logged snapshots of dogs lurking on his postal route a few years ago. It’s pretty amusing, unless you are the postal worker or the gas meter reader who has to face the pets down. Here’s a few clips that demonstrate just how territorial and aggressive even seemingly sweet dogs can be over mail deliveries.


In addition to mail carriers, kids are also very vulnerable when it comes to dog bites. Here are some good sites for teaching your kids how to be safe.
Teaching kids how to have safe encounters with dogs
Prevent the Bite – preventing dog bites to children through education
Learn to Speak Dog and Teach Your Kids
Dog Bite Prevention – from the CDC