Dog Bites by Greg Geiger

Occasionally when I attend Mutual Insurance Company meetings there is information presented that can be useful for our individual clients. One such item is the current “dog bite” law. Not having a dog myself, I was unaware that there was such legislation. The current law states that if a dog previously bit someone or caused property damage and then the dog bites someone, the owner of the dog is liable for two times the full amount of damages. The intent of the law was to punish dog owners for keeping a dangerous or vicious dog.
If your dog gnaws on your neighbor’s fence, digs up any of their plants, chews on their baseball glove, strike one has occurred with your dog. If your dog then bites a person at some later date, you are now liable for twice the damages. Property damage, what consists of a bite, pain and suffering caused by the dog are open to interpretation by lawyers and judges.
Dog bites are usually covered under homeowners insurance so that is why the insurance companies have a “dog in this fight” so to speak. If an insurer finds out that your dog has one strike against it and the owner is aware of it, it is very likely that the insurer will cancel your homeowner’s policy because of the steep liability they face. Dog bite claims are more common and costly than you may think- they represent 30% of all homeowner liability claims nationwide and have an average claim of just over $26,000. Also, it is not just the big dogs you have to be concerned about; dachshunds are one of the most common dogs that bite people. So I guess in all cases, a dog’s bite is always much worse than its bark.
-Greg
dog bite

About Objectively Speaking

Tom Batterman, founder of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy and Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is in the business of representing the best financial interests of his clients. Having provided objective, fee-only financial management services for over two decades, he specializes in managing the investment and related financial affairs of individuals and mutual insurance companies who do not have the time, interest or expertise to manage such matters on their own. As an objective, unbiased professional who takes on a fiduciary responsibility to his clients, he guides clients to the financial decisions they would make themselves if they had years of training and experience and the time and expertise to fully research and understand all of their options. Founded in 2010 as an outgrowth of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy, Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is a financial management solution for individuals and mutual insurance companies who recognize they do not have the time, interest or expertise to properly attend to their financial matters on their own. While there are many financial “advisors”, most of them have investment products to sell and the “advice” they provide is geared toward getting their clients to engage in a purchase. As one of the rare subset of advisors known as “fiduciary advisors”, Financial Fiduciaries does not sell any investment product so its guidance is not compromised by conflicts of interest which plague ordinary advisors. Prior to his employment in the financial industry in financial advocacy and trust positions, he worked at a private law practice in the Wausau area in the areas of estate planning, tax, retirement planning, corporate organizations and real estate. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the UW-Madison Law School and has during his career held Series 7, 24 and 65 securities licenses. A longtime resident of the Wausau, Wisconsin Area, Tom is active in the community. He enjoys golf, curling, skiing, fishing, traveling and spending time with his family.
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