Anyone with a pet dog is likely to consider whether it is a good idea to have dog insurance cover in place. The most obvious thing they are probably thinking about when looking for a policy is protection against large veterinary fees and charges. Pet insurance normally provides cover for a lot more things that this though, and one of the most important is third party liability protection.

Third party liability insurance cover is all about protecting you against claims in the event that your pet is involved in an accident or incident which results in causing damage to property or personal injury to another person. The term ‘third party’ in this situation just means anyone other than you and your pet. This should not be thought of as something that you only need if you have a particularly naughty dog. You just cannot tell what circumstances might arise where the result is damage to property or personal injury.

There are sadly many instances of dogs running into roads and causing accidents. As well as the trauma of your own pet’s injuries or death, you may be liable for damage caused to vehicles. There may be more than one vehicle involved and people may have been injured too. You can easily see how claims from a single such incident can quickly mount up to very substantial amount of money.

If your pet is injured there are of course the vets fees associated with that treatment and care to be considered too, though these should come under a separate section of your insurance. Because incidents like this can so easily lead to very large claims and legal costs, the limit of cover provided for dog insurance liability in the UK tends to be for at least one million pounds and is often double that.

The more obvious examples of times when this type of cover will be needed are if your dog were to bite someone. This is an subject that relates to wider issues than simply the type of insurance cover you choose to put in place. The UK’s Dangerous Dog Act of 1991 means you are committing a criminal offence if you allow your dog to be what is defined as ‘dangerously out of control’. This applies to any public area and even to private areas if your dog is not meant to be there.

If your dog is deemed to be out of control you can be fined up to £2,000 even if it does not injure anyone. All that is required for you to be prosecuted is that the dog is thought to be out of control in such a way that it will harm someone. If the dog actually does harm someone then you could have an unlimited fine or be sentenced to up to two years in prison (or both!).

Most dog insurance policies will already include an element of liability cover, but with some it will be optional. The amount of cover you require can obviously vary too. It is less usual to take out cover for only the liability element, but this is possible with a few companies. As with any type of insurance, you should pay attention to the amount of any excess when looking at the level of cover you get and the cost of premiums.

Author's Bio: 

You can find out more about how to get affordable dog insurance policies on the author's Dog Insurance UK website. K D Garrow has various websites offering information about insurance, including one providing advice on public liability quotes.