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Remember all those silly comic strips where the family dog is chasing after the mailman? Well, this scenario is actually a reality for postal workers—in 2011, 5,600 of them were bitten by dogs.

This trend is taking a serious bite out of homeowners insurance claims, and affects much more than the people who deliver your mail. Neighbors, friends and other visitors were bitten by so many dogs in 2011 to account for more than a third of all homeowners insurance claims.

On average, a dog bite claim cost almost $30,000 in 2011. This money paid for medical bills and legal costs following a dog bite.

Make Sure Your Homeowners Insurance Covers Dog Bites

If you have a dog, you should make sure that your homeowners insurance includes dog bite liability. Most policies will cover you for $100,000 to $300,000. Check with your agent or insurance company to make sure, though.

Renters can get a cheap policy that will offer this coverage, too. You can pay as little as $10-$20 a month for a renters policy, which will also protect your possessions and provide liability coverage if, say, you accidentally burn your building down..

Personal Umbrella Insurance Protects Those With More Assets

If you have a lot of assets, you may want to purchase a personal umbrella policy. This is because people will often come after you for more money if they know that you have it. You can get a million dollars of coverage starting at around $15/month, and this will add the “umbrella” coverage onto both your home and auto policies. So in addition to dog bites, this policy will protect you in the case of a high-dollar car accident or a doorstep slip-and-fall.

O'Donnell Insurance Services provides personal and business insurance to California residents. If you are in Sacramento, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Cameron Park, or Placerville, get a homeowners insurance quote today!