We strongly recommend that all dog owners have insurance to cover you for third party liability claims. This applies if a dog:-
- a) injures a person
- b) damages property
- c) harms another animal
If you do not have insurance cover available and you face a claim for damages caused by your dog, then (as a general rule) you will be liable if:-
1. The incident was due to your negligence (ie, you did something you should not have done or you failed to do something that you should have done), or
2. Your dog has behaved in a similar manner on a previous occasion and you were aware of it.
If there is an incident involving your dog and you are being blamed:-
1. Do not admit liability
2. Notify your insurers and follow their advice
3. If you don’t have insurance and you are facing a potential claim against you then you may want to contact us for advice - see our "How we can help" section. If the case proceeds to court be aware that the defence costs can be very high.
If you don't yet have third party liability insurance you may wish to consider becoming a member of Dogs Trust. As one of the many benefits of membership you are given free third party liability cover. NB Terms and conditions apply, there's an excess payable and other insurers may be available. Membership with Dogs Trust is inexpensive at only £25 for 12 months or it's half price if you're over 60. For more information look at the FAQ section at www.dogstrust.org.uk.
Please note that the above summary only relates to the law in England and Wales. You must not rely on it as constituting legal advice and so for specific guidance on your particular doglaw issues please contact us - see our "How we can help" section for details.