Henriette Neubert writes in the Finanztip editorial office about insurance topics. She has already worked in various online editorial offices. At the same time, I completed a part-time training as a business journalist. She studied economics and business administration at the University of Leipzig and after her studies gained first practical experience in Zurich and Dublin.
– If you have a dog, you are liable for all damages caused by your four-legged friend – no matter if he bites someone or scratches the parquet at a friend's house. – Your private liability insurance does not include damages caused by dogs. – In most federal states, liability for your dog is mandatory for all or certain dogs (table below). But even without compulsory insurance you should have this coverage.
– It's best to take out your dog insurance through a comparison portal. – Select on the portal the following features: a sufficiently high sum insured (at least five million euros), rental damage (up to at least 300.000 Euro), property damage (up to 50.000 Euro), stay abroad, cover damage. – We have examined the comparison portals for you and recommend Verivox. Also Mr-Money and with restriction finanzen.de show good results.
In this guide
Dogs are among the most popular pets in Germany, the Federal Statistical Office ames about ten million animals. If you have a dog, you should take out dog owner's liability insurance so that it covers your pet's potential misdeeds. The overall association of German insurers registers 80 dog liability cases per year.000 Damage caused by dogs in Germany. Good, if the insurance then takes over the costs. Depending on where you live and what kind of dog you have, there is even an insurance obligation for dog owners.
Why is a dog owner liability important?
A dog owner liability insurance comes for
Personal injury, property damage and financial loss on. If a human is bitten, this is a personal injury. If your dog scratches the parquet in the apartment of a friend, this is called property damage. If your dog bites the veterinarian during an examination so violently that the veterinarian suffers a loss of earnings as a result, this is called pecuniary loss.
The insurance pays, if your four-legged friend has not obeyed, although you as a master or mistress have done everything right. However, the dog insurance also covers you if you were not near your dog when it bit the neighbor's child. If you entrust your dog to a friend or neighbor, any damage occurring during this time is also insured. This means that also a dog sitter Benefit from your dog liability insurance.
Attention: If you do not have your dog on a leash and it causes damage, the insurance company may refuse to pay for the damage. You could justify this with "conditional intent", which, unlike gross negligence, is not insured. Some insurances explicitly exclude damages caused by dogs not on a leash in their contract conditions. However, there are also tariffs, where these cases of damage are specifically insured.
The insurance is not responsible in principle, if your dog causes damage to a family member. This would only be covered by a private accident insurance. The exact regulation can be found in the "Special conditions and risk descriptions for pet owner liability insurance" of your insurance conditions under the point "Co-insured persons".
Where can you find a cheap dog liability insurance??
We have examined comparison portals
We have looked at 28 portals with comparison calculators, which are related to the most important search terms around "dog liability insurance" and "dog liability insurance comparison" were found on Google.
We have tested with 19 profiles, with which calculator you find favorable tariffs with good insurance protection.
The cheapest rates that meet our criteria for a good dog liability insurance can be found at Verivox. Also recommended are Mr-Money and Finance.en.
Where do you have to take out a dog owner liability insurance??
In some federal states there is general insurance obligation. In other federal states, the Compulsory for dogs with special characteristics, which are classified as risky. Only in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is dog liability insurance voluntary for every dog owner.
In six federal states there is basically an insurance obligation for dogs, in others only potentially dangerous dogs need to be insured. Which dogs are classified as dangerous varies from state to state.
Basically, the federal states assign certain dog breeds to the group of dangerous dogs because of their behavior. In this case, a character test or an examination by the local police authority decides whether these dogs are classified as dangerous. In North Rhine-Westphalia, all dogs must be insured if they have a size of 40 cm (height at withers) or are heavier than 20 kilograms.
These regulations on compulsory insurance apply in the German states
Source: Dog laws and dog ordinances of the individual federal states (as of 15. March 2021)
For a dog that you use for hunting, you do not need dog liability insurance. Instead, you must take out special hunting liability insurance.
What is important in a dog liability insurance?
Choose a sufficiently high sum insured: We recommend at least 5 million Euro For personal injury, property damage and financial loss. You should also insure the following benefits to save you trouble in the event of damage:
rental damage – As a tenant, you should insure rental damage at all costs. Then the insurance will cover you if your dog jumps up on a door and scratches it. The protection is also valid in hotels and vacation homes. Not covered are damages that have occurred over a longer period of time, for example if your dog regularly walks across the parquet and scratches it a little more and more. Rental damage should be covered until at least 300.000 Euro should be insured.
Property damage – If your dog bites someone who can't do his job for a while, the insurance will pay for the economic damage. We recommend coverage for property damage up to 50.000 Euro.
Stay abroad – If you want to take your dog also on vacation abroad, check also the insurance coverage abroad. With many insurances the achievements within the EU apply unlimitedly. Worldwide protection is often limited to a stay of three or five years. However, the sum insured is usually valid in this period without restriction.
Mating damages – If your male dog impregnates a pedigree bitch, her breeder can suffer economic damage. Among other things by veterinary costs or by the fact that the bitch does not get purebred puppies for the time being. If your dog is neutered, you do not need to pay attention to this clause of course.
Which is the best dog liability insurance?
Through a comparison portal, you can easily find the cheapest dog liability insurance that meets all the important criteria. In the comparison portals we examined, it was not always possible to filter all the important features of a dog liability policy. However, the results always included all important features.
With some calculators it came to wrong results when we queried "fight dog races". To be sure that your insurance covers the breed of your dog, it is better to look at the overview of benefits before signing the contract, to be sure that your dog is covered. Many insurers do not offer protection for so-called list dogs and if, you pay significantly higher premiums.
Since March 2022, there is an insurer (getsafe) that insures all dogs for the same premium. However, the premiums are comparatively high at over 90 euros – there are also cheaper rates for listed dogs.
In our dog liability comparison in February 2021, we examined twelve comparison calculators. They had to include appropriate filtering options and display rates that met our minimum criteria. Verivox was able to convince us the most of this totality. The portal most frequently displayed the cheapest rate across all profiles and deviated the least from the average best price. Also good results showed Mr-Money. Here the cheapest tariff was displayed less often, but the results were so good that this calculator is a good alternative.
Another side recommendation is finanzen.en. Over all tariffs, the comparison calculator scored slightly worse than the other two. The calculator from finanzen.de offered the best result, however, when we adjusted the profiles for the "fighting dog profiles". For fighting dogs showed finances.de accordingly very expensive tariffs on. If these were omitted, offered finanzen.de almost always the cheapest rate.
– Best price for 16 of the 19 profiles – On average the best price – Many filter and setting options – Best price also for listed dogs
– In 13 of the 19 profiles with best price – On average also very good prices – Many filter and setting options – Best price also for listed dogs
– Cheapest prices in the test, except for listed dogs – Only a few search features can be set – For listed dogs rates expensive
What does a good dog liability insurance cost?
Whether mandatory or not, a liability insurance dog can save you from high costs. Besides, it is not expensive. A good dog owner liability insurance you can already from about 30 Euro per year conclude. Owners of dogs, which are classified as dangerous according to the dog laws of the countries, pay a bit more. The rates for these dogs start at a good 40 euros.
To find a suitable dog liability, you search best on a comparison portal. It is important to indicate the exact breed name of your dog. If your dog is a promenade mix, specify several breeds.
How to save money?
So that your dog liability insurance does not become unnecessarily expensive, you can save money with the right tricks:
Select deductible – You can lower the insurance premium by a low deductible. In our test, a deductible of 125 or 150 euros, depending on the tariff, resulted in a saving of 10 to 25 percent.
Several dogs with the same provider – If you have several dogs, you should insure them all together. With most offerers there is discount for the second or third dog. In our test, there were 10 to 25 percent reductions.
Change in case of poor performance – If you already have a liability insurance for your dog and find that the benefits are not optimal, then perform a dog liability comparison and change the provider. The notice period is usually three months to the end of the insurance year. If you have agreed on a minimum term, however, this does not work as long as this has not expired.
For a visit to the Dog school we could no effect on the price determine. For unchipped dogs we could see a price surcharge with one insurer. Likewise, some insurers require a Surcharge for young dog owners (in our test 20 years) respectively grant a discount for seniors.
You should not save on the insurance sum, because a sufficiently high insurance sum is the most important characteristic of a good protection.
How we tested
In February 2021, we compared comparison portals on the subject of dog liability insurance. First, we searched out comparison portals that appeared on the first five Google pages for the terms "dog liability insurance" and "dog liability insurance comparison". This resulted in a population of 28 portals.
Some comparison portals, which themselves also belonged to the population, use the calculator of Mr-Money. However, since each portal included slightly different insurance companies in its comparison, we examined all of them, not just the original one from Mr-Money.
In the first step, we excluded the comparison calculators that did not have a broker license or only worked with registration. This left 24 comparison portals in the test. If we could not specify a sum insured and then received rates with too low a sum, this was also an exclusion criterion. The same was true for the term, which should be only one year.
Next, we made a test query for a so-called fighting dog. The aim was to check whether the appropriate filters are in place and whether the tariffs displayed really insure these dogs. At Mr-Money and some sites that use the calculator, we were shown a tariff that excludes fighting dogs. When asked about this, Mr-Money told us that it was an error that was fixed within a day. Therefore, these sites remained further in the test.
Other portals contained several tariffs of Condor, where it was unclear whether fighting dogs are insurable. The insurance company told us that it does insure fighting dogs on demand, but not via comparison sites. The operators of the comparison portals are explicitly advised not to show the tariffs. For this reason these sites were not tested further.
Twelve comparison portals remained, which we tested more closely. For this purpose, we created 19 dog owner profiles that differed in terms of age of the dog owner, dog breed (four profiles with fighting dogs), number of dogs and deductible (none or up to 150 euros). In addition, we have included chipped and unchipped dogs and checked what influence the attendance of a dog school has.
We have established the following minimum criteria that a dog liability insurance should meet:
– Coverage amount at least 5 million euros – total rental damage at least 300.000 euros – total financial losses at least 50.000 euros – term one year
To make a recommendation, we looked at how often the best price was displayed and how high the average or maximum deviation from the best price was for each comparison portal.
Verivox showed the best price sixteen times, followed by finanzen.de with fourteen times and Mr-Money with thirteen times. With all other portals we received the best price less often. Verivox deviated from the average best price by only 1.2 percent and was a maximum of 8.1 percent above a best price. Also with these values Verivox offers the best results.
In the average and maximum deviation from the best price, Mr-Money was ahead of finanzen with 3.5 and 32.2 percent, respectively.de (8.5 percent above average best price and 42.7 percent maximum above best price).
So, Verivox shows stably cheap rates across all profiles, which is why this is our main recommendation in dog insurance comparison. Since Mr-Money also performed well and this page is the original calculator, this portal is a recommendable alternative.
With finances.de are the greater deviations from the average and maximum best price at the test profiles with fighting dog. Without these four profiles the comparison calculator showed very good results. Of 15 profiles, 14 offered the best price, the average deviation was now only 0.4 percent and the maximum deviation from the best price was 5.7 percent. Therefore finanzen.de also a side recommendation and a good alternative, if no fighting dog should be insured.