Is your dog covered under your homeowners insurance policy?

Homeowners often wrongly assume that animal liability is included within their standard homeowner’s insurance policy. Although some policies do include animal liability, not all policies include this coverage; however, it can often be added as an endorsement to your policy depending on the breed of the dog.

The most commonly excluded breeds from homeowner’s policies include: Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Akitas, Chow and Wolf breeds, as well as breeds including the word “bull,” such as a Bull Mastiff.

Some homeowner’s policies will provide standard liability coverage but specifically exclude dog liability; however, other insurance companies may disqualify you for coverage entirely.  Some companies offer a dog liability endorsement, which can be added to your policy for an additional fee. Due to the fact that many insurance companies animal liability coverage’s vary, it is important to specifically inquire about this coverage if you own a dog.

Keep in mind, dog liability coverage extends outside of your property. For example, if your homeowner’s policy includes animal liability coverage and you bring your dog to a friend’s house and the dog causes physical harm to a person there, your policy will likely cover this incident. Also note that some policies provide limited coverage up to a certain amount, typically $25,000 or $50,000.

Employee Dishonesty Insurance

Employee dishonesty insurance is designed to cover financial loss caused by fraudulent activities of an employee. This type of insurance is also known as, “employee theft” coverage and is intended to cover theft of monetary funds, whether it be stolen cash, unauthorized credit card purchases, fraudulent checks, etc. and theft of property, such as business property (i.e. computers) or retail items. 

Theft coverage is often included in most business property policies; however, this type of coverage is intended for theft by an individual that is not an employee. Employee dishonesty insurance is sometimes included at a small limit. You may also choose to add this type of coverage by including it as an endorsement on your current business policy. 

With employee embezzlement on the rise, it is recommended that you consider the addition of this type of coverage to your current policy. According to The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE), it is estimated that businesses lose approximately $400 billion per year, for a total of about 6% total annual revenue.

If you believe your company will not be affected, consider the following: 

          Small businesses are often most devastated by employee theft, because they are not large enough to absorb the losses.

          Companies with higher turn-over or more part-time employees are often victims of employee theft.

          Full-time employees are also a threat. In fact, employees with a long term history (10+ years) with the business make up 25% of workplace theft. 

Additionally, if you think it won’t happen to me…consider the current economic times. More people, including your employees, are becoming more desperate and willing to go to extremes that they would not normally consider to accumulate extra cash. When considering whether to add this endorsement to your business policy, consider the amount of access your employees have to various items, such as cash, credit cards or retail products.