Dogs & Homeowners Insurance In Washington & Oregon

Posted by Scott A. Staples | Jul 23, 2021 | 0 Comments

Dogs and Homeowners Insurance

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In February my family welcomed a new puppy, a first for us. Just now, halfway through the year, I got around to calling my insurance agent to ask if my homeowners insurance needed to be updated to take this pooch into account. As we've written about before, dog owners are usually legally liable for injuries caused by their dog, and I always want to make sure I'm properly covered. 

When I asked my agent if the new dog would require notification to the insurer or would result in a rate change, I was told that for our breed (a mini Goldendoodle, in case you were wondering), no notification was required and we'd be covered if the unfortunate ever did occur—that only certain breeds well known for aggressive temperaments and causing injuries would have impacted anything in my coverage.

This comes with the huge caveat that this was based on one phone call, with one agent, dealing with one specific insurer, and may not apply across the board. But it was a good reminder: everyone who gets a dog or any other pet that could harm someone should check with their own insurer or agent to assure themselves that they are covered in the event of an animal attack.   

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About the Author

Scott A. Staples

Scott Staples came on board in 2006 as a clerk during law school, and joined the firm as an associate attorney in 2007. He was made a shareholder in the firm in 2010. Scott graduated, cum laude, from Washington State University Vancouver with a BA in English, and obtained his Juris Doctorate from Willamette University College of Law, with cum laude honors there as well. He has successfully represented clients in a variety of different types of injury cases, including auto collisions, premises liability, animal attacks, watercraft accidents, and construction site injuries. He has appeared, and won, before the Washington State Supreme Court (Weismann v. Safeco, 2012). Scott has volunteered time for the past several years at the Clark County Volunteer Lawyers Housing Justice Project. He has previously served on the new member and membership committees for the Washington State Association for Justice (WSAJ), and has acted as chair and co-chair of the WSAJ Clark County Roundtable. He is a member of the Washington and Oregon State Bar Associations, WSAJ and OTLA (state trial lawyer organizations), and is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in Washington and Oregon. Scott was born and raised in Vancouver, attending Vancouver public schools and graduating from Hudson's Bay High School. He enjoys playing recreational basketball and softball, skiing, and spending time with his wife and three children.

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