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Consumer Alert: Dog Bite Prevention
 

If your dog bites someone, your homeowners' insurance company can non-renew your policy, or require the dog be removed from the home as a condition of renewal. In Pennsylvania, insurance companies may not cancel your homeowners’ or renters’ policy during the policy term for a dog bite claim, but have the option to non-renew the policy at its anniversary date.

You can appeal a non-renewal if you can show the dog was provoked into biting. If you receive a notice of non-renewal as a direct result of a dog bite claim, and you decide to appeal, you have 10 days to contact the Insurance Department’s Consumer Services Bureau to implement the appeal. 

Contact the bureau at:

Pennsylvania Insurance Department

1209 Strawberry Square

Harrisburg, PA 17120

Or call: 1-877-881-6388; Fax: 717-787-8585; TTY/TDD: 717-783-3898

Pennsylvania ranks 3rd in the number of dog bite liability claims filed in 2017. Insurers paid out $26.54 million on 1,002 claims, an average of $26,486.32 per claim.

You may be able to purchase a separate dog bite liability policy. However, this coverage may not change your insurer’s position about either removing the dog from the home or non-renewing your policy.