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What is Third Party Liability insurance, and do I need it for my dog?

Even if your dog is docile, accidents can and do happen. That’s why having Third Party dog insurance cover is important.

Many owners don’t think about legal claims as one of the costs of pet ownership. But if someone has their property damaged or is injured due to an incident involving your dog, and you are deemed to be legally liable, they can turn out to be expensive claims. Some of the highest claims have run into millions of pounds.

It is important to be aware that Third Party claims do not necessarily amount from vicious dogs - they could come from every day accidents such as your dog knocking the postal worker over on your property, and these simple accidents can result in substantial claims.

Owners are usually considered legally liable for accidents and injuries if their pet has shown the same kind of behaviour before, but they have not taken steps to prevent it happening again. So, if something does happen, this type of cover can help you cover the cost of any legal costs that arise.

I want every dog owner to stop and think about what could happen if they DON’T have adequate Third Party Liability insurance. Can you afford not to have cover?

Trevor Cooper, Specialist Doglaw Solicitor

At Petplan we understand that accidental damage or injury caused by a dog can happen to any owner, at any time. This is why we include Third Party cover as standard as part of our full dog insurance policies, and the amount you can claim up to varies from £1 million to £3 million depending on the plan you choose.

According to the NHS: More than 7,000 hospital visits occurred in 2019 because people have been bitten or struck by dogs.

Having this protection means we arrange to go through the legal proceedings on your behalf, covering costs and damages above the excess amount stated in your policy. Without insurance, this would all be down to you.

In some circumstances, Petplan may not be able to cover owners for Third Party Liability due to their dog’s previous behaviour or if the dog is taken into work and an incident occurs. If you have any questions about this please get in touch.

Provided you’re insured, if there is an incident, you can report it to your insurer and let them do the worrying on your behalf.

Trevor Cooper, Specialist Doglaw Solicitor

We pride ourselves on the comprehensive cover we provide to help you get your pet the best veterinary care and to provide support for additional costs such as legal fees if your dog causes damage to a property for example. Our insurance is designed to help in such instances as we want to be able to provide cover that pets need. Not covered with us yet? Get a quote to see how we could help.

How much does pet insurance cost?

Pet insurance policies are as unique as pets themselves. At Petplan, we calculate your premium based on factors such as your pet’s age and breed, and where you live. What you pay will also depend on which policy you choose. Petplan has a range of options to suit different needs.

When shopping around for pet insurance, it is important to ask if you will pay more for claiming and to look at the veterinary fee cover provided. Look for long-term value rather than a short-term deal, as you will want to be able to do the best you can for your pet throughout their life.

Is there anything not covered by dog insurance?

Insurance is designed to help with unforeseen incidents, so there are some things that most policies cannot cover – such as routine health treatments and dental check-ups.

While some policies will not cover your dog for illnesses and injuries they had before you took out insurance, Petplan assesses each pet on a case-by-case basis and may be able to provide cover in some circumstances. Some policies might also restrict a dog’s cover based on their age.

To find out what you will and won’t be covered for, read our guide to common exclusions in pet insurance policies.

Am I covered if my pet damages my own home

Unfortunately, no. Third Party Liability insurance only covers instances where someone else brings a legal claim against the pet owner. You may also not be covered if your dog causes injury to an immediate family member, someone who lives in your household, or someone you have employed to look after your dog such as a dog sitter.

What types of dog insurance do you offer?

Petplan offers two types of insurance for dogs: lifetime and time limited.

Lifetime insurance is the most comprehensive type of pet insurance you can buy, and our policy is called Covered For Life®. Our lifetime policy will cover your pet for ongoing illnesses and injuries, as long as you keep renewing the policy every year.

We also offer Time Limited insurance, which covers each new illness or injury for 12 months, after which time the owner will be required to pay for the rest of their pet’s treatment for that condition themselves.

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