Dog Attack Could Take Bite Out Of Your Wallet

As required by Nebraska law, when you take dogs outside and off your property, they must be secured with a leash, otherwise you could get fined.

If your dog should get loose and bite someone or another dog, not only would you face a large fine or jail time, but according to the Insurance Information Institute, you could take a serious hit on your home or rental insurance premium.

Tammie Roland often comes to Hefflinger Dog Park in Omaha with her two Siberian huskies, 4-year-old Miya and 2-year-old Max. Her huskies are very social and friendly, but sometimes they can get away from her.

“You keep them on a leash and then make sure to keep them right by your side the whole time and then if one of them gets loose you have treats, that way you can call them back.”

Getting them back is important because in Nebraska, a loose dog is money out of your pocket. For the first violation of not restraining a dog, you’d pay a $100 fine. The second violation within two years is a $200 fine and the third violation is $500.

Dogs that get picked up are brought to the Nebraska Humane Society. “Unfortunately, if the dogs are not properly leashed or restrained we could have issues with dogs chasing after unsuspecting people walking down the street, chasing the mailman, if that dog attacks other dogs, we've had dogs bite people and owners are liable when the dog causes the damages that happens,” said Humane Society investigator Kelli Brown.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites account for more than one-third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claims, costing over $410 million. After which, your insurance company may ask you to find the dog a new home, increase your insurance premium or drop the dog from your coverage.

Tammie isn’t concerned about her dogs biting or attacking anyone in the near future. “If there was an intruder in my house, I think all they would want is to be petted.”

In Omaha, the only required insurance needed for owning a dog is $100,000 of liability coverage and that's only for pit bulls and similar breeds. When applying for home or renters insurance or renewing coverage, check out the dog bite section. If your dog has a history of biting, they may not cover you or you may have to pay a higher premium.

Click here for information on Omaha's leash and dog laws.

Click here for info on dog bite liability from the Insurance Information Institute.

Click here for the Nebraska Humane Society Web site.

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