Lions and Tigers and Bears

Recently in Zanesville, Ohio, a man released more than 50 wild animals before committing suicide. This brought the issue of people owning wild animals to the forefront of people's minds—and, of course, brought the coverage issues to the minds of insurance professionals.

If a homeowner owns a tiger, for example, and that tiger gets loose and attacks a neighbor, is there coverage?

Read More FC&S Blog Posts at the Coverage Cafe!

While one might think that surely owning wild animals would be excluded on your standard homeowners policy, you would be wrong. There is no liability exclusion for any particular type of animal, be it a domestic dog or a wild tiger. The policy provides medical payments for injury caused by an animal owned by or in the care of an insured. So you could even be walking the neighbor's tiger for him and, if the tiger attacks someone, your insurance would pay the medical bills. Damage to property of others is covered so that if your tiger snacks on the neighbor's dog, that is covered as well.

But what if the state has laws against owning such wild things? Is coverage excluded then?

Believe it or not, there is no exclusion for illegal acts, other than the use, sale, manufacture, delivery, transfer or possession of a controlled substance. Lions, tigers and bears are not controlled substances.

Lions and tigers are the big examples of exotic pets, but there are plenty of reptiles that either escape or are released into the wild that cause havoc. It's impossible to track down the owner of a released snake and hold him liable, but what do you think about owning exotic pets? Should you be allowed to have an honest to goodness "big cat" instead of just an inordinately chubby housecat? What do you think about owning exotic pets and the fact that they are automatically covered under your homeowners policy?

About the Author
Christine G. Barlow

Christine G. Barlow

Christine G. Barlow is an Associate Editor with FC&S Online, a sister publication of PropertyCasualty360-National Underwriter and part of Summit Business Media. She has an extensive background in insurance underwriting. She may be reached at cbarlow@sbmedia.com.

Comments

Resource Center

View All »

Complimentary White Paper: The Compression of Workplace Time

How brokers and carriers respond to the compression of workplace time will create significant competitive...

The Changing Insurance Consumer: 6 Ways to Create Profitable Relationships

Today’s mobile and web-savvy consumers have new expectations when it comes to interacting with your...

Contractors General Liability Coverage 102

What is a prior work exclusion? Which option is right for my client? Why do...

Sign up today to get a 50% matching credit -...

Insurance marketing sometimes seems like it's a game of swings and misses, but we're here...

Guide: 5 Steps to Selling Cyber

Cyber risk and data security is on the agenda of every business owner and executive....

Citation Correlation

Do rigger and signalperson qualifications correlate with the cause of crane and rigging accidents? ...

Complete Guide to Electronic Signatures in Property & Casualty Insurance...

In property and casualty insurance, closing new business quickly is key. Learn how to leverage...

INSTANT ACCESS: Complimentary Sales Closer Questionnaires

Help property owners or managers compare your commercial residential property insurance coverage vs. the competition....

Determining Vacant Property Perils and Valuations

Are your clients fully covered for Vacant Properties? In this economic climate, your insureds may...

Risk Management for Law Firms

This package of 3 concise risk management articles offers straightforward content and practical suggestions law...

Personal Lines Pro eNewsletter

Critical insights into the personal auto, homeowners, and other consumer insurance markets to help P&C professionals stay informed – FREE! Sign Up Now!

Advertisement. Closing in 15 seconds.