New Online Insurance CE Course: Dog Bite Liability Claims

New Online Insurance CE Course: Dog Bite Liability Claims

New Online Insurance CE Course

This course will make participants aware of the general and specific matters surrounding insurance issues with regard to dog bites. Insurance professionals need to be able to show clients the practicality and wisdom of protecting themselves in terms of liabilities associated with owning or accepting temporary responsibility for a dog. Clients ought to be made fully aware of their role and responsibility should they purchase a policy that covers this liability, and also of the actions required of them should there be an incident that could result in a claim.

Ontario woman feels abandoned by pet insurer she’s paid $30K after coverage on elderly dog drops 30%

The excerpted article was written by Nicole Brockbank · CBC News

Like many Canadians, Rebecca Shuster considers her two dogs part of the family. But now, with her aging pets struggling with health problems, she’s finding out the pet insurance she bought to protect them isn’t providing the coverage she thought it would.

The Vaughan, Ont. woman signed up with Petsecure, a Winnipeg-based company and Canada’s largest pet health insurance provider, more than a decade ago when she got her 13-year-old Shih-poo, Hope.

Since then, Shuster has spent more than $30,000 in premiums on the company’s high-end insurance for both Hope, and her 11-year-old dog, Zoe. She says she was shocked to discover that Petsecure can change how much of her vet bills it covers — and she wants other pet owners across the country to be aware that could happen to them, too.

“I thought I was buying the best safety net,” Shuster told CBC Toronto.

“We wanted insurance so that money wouldn’t be a deciding factor in the health care that we provide.”

But now Shuster is worried she could lose Hope over money.

Petsecure is lowering its coverage amount on claims for Hope by 30 per cent — but expects Shuster to continue paying the same $155 a month premium and $500 annual deductible.

In a letter, Petsecure told Shuster the change was the result of a review the company does for all customers’ claim activity; and that based on that review, the amount the insurer will reimburse for vet bills for Hope will go from 80 to 50 per cent on Jan. 1, 2020.

So Shuster’s share of future claims will more than double.


The Ontario SPCA launches new SPCA & Humane Society Pet Insurance

STOUFFVILLE, Ontario, Jan. 14, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society believes animals deserve the best care possible, which is why we have decided to relaunch our insurance program with the new SPCA & Humane Society Pet Insurance offered by Petplan®.

By partnering with a global leading pet insurance provider in Petplan, this will ensure pets get the best treatment they need when an unexpected illness or injury occurs. Not only will pet owners enjoy the peace of mind that they’re helping protect their four-legged friends, but they can also feel good knowing that a portion of proceeds go back to SPCA’s and Humane Societies, like the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society to help animals in need.

The coverage through the SPCA & Humane Society Pet Insurance offered by Petplan is as unique as pet owners and their pets and can be customized to fit their needs and budget. It also offers one of the most comprehensive coverages and shortest waiting periods in the industry.

Planning for unforeseen health issues and accidents can help alleviate the financial burden and stress when a pet needs medical attention, giving pet owners peace of mind. According to Petplan claims data, one in three pets makes an unplanned trip to the vet each year—and Canadian pet parents spent an average of $1,103 per pet on unexpected veterinary expenses last year alone!

“As a not-for-profit organization  focused on animal wellness, we encourage pet owners to have a plan in place to ensure they are able to provide the necessary care for their pet should the unexpected occur,” says Daryl Vaillancourt, Chief of Humane Programs & Community Outreach, Ontario SPCA. “One of the best ways pet owners can help their pets, and protect themselves from unexpected costs, is pet insurance.”

Petplan is the pet insurance that’s trusted by shelters and helps animals in need. To get a quote or to learn more about the new SPCA & Humane Society Pet Insurance offered by Petplan visit

The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society

The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society is a registered charity, established in 1873. The Society and its network of animal welfare communities facilitate and provide for province-wide leadership on matters relating to the prevention of cruelty to animals and the promotion of animal well-being. Offering a variety of mission-based programs including community-based sheltering, animal wellness services, provincial animal transfers, shelter health & wellness, high-volume spay/neuter services, animal rescue, animal advocacy, Indigenous partnership programs and humane education, the Ontario SPCA is Ontario’s animal welfare charity.


Petplan has built an industry-leading pet insurance policy for pet parents who demand a higher pedigree of care for their best friends. We’ve leveraged 40 years of global experience to create completely customizable coverage pet parents can feel confident in, and world-class claims service — 24 hours a day, every day.

Petplan’s innovative approach to pet insurance has been recognized by Forbes, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Inc. magazine, Smart CEO, the Communicator Awards, Ernst & Young and many others.


Court Rules Home Owners Have No Duty of Care When Tenant’s Dog Injures Others

Source: Erik Magraken: BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog

Reasons for judgement were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, addressing the legal liability of a home owner whose tenant’s pet injures another.

In today’s case (Barlow v. Waterson) the Plaintiff alleged that a dog owned by the Defendant was off leash and caused her injury.  In the course of the lawsuit the Plaintiff sought to add the homeowner of the residence where the Defendant was residing as an additional Defendant.  The court rejected this application finding that even if all the allegations the Plaintiff was advancing were true the Defendant home owner owed no duty of care in the circumstances.  In dismissing the application Master Wilson provided the following reasons:

[13]         In this case, Mr. Seifi is not an occupier of the premises, having yielded control when he rented them to Ms. Waterson. Ms. Waterson was not Mr. Seifi’s agent as was found in Hindley. Mr. Seifi does not own the dog and therefore does not exercise control over the dog. He is not an occupier of Prospect Avenue, which presumably belongs to the municipality. He had no duty to control the dog owned by the defendant Waterson and had no ability or obligation to control or to limit activities on the property, let alone activities on the road adjacent to the property. To the extent there may be a bylaw regarding off leash dogs, that would be Ms. Waterson’s concern.

[14]         As for the allegation regarding adequate fencing in the proposed amended notice of civil claim, I agree with counsel for Mr. Seifi that there is no allegation that the dog here even escaped. In fact, the plaintiff’s evidence provided by way of her daughter’s email suggests that Ms. Waterson would routinely permit the dog to roam freely. This would suggest a failure to supervise or control the dog by Ms. Waterson as opposed to a failure to provide adequate fencing, a duty that would have been owed to Ms. Waterson but was not alleged by her in her Response to Civil Claim.

[15]         In the circumstances, although the threshold is a low one, I am not satisfied that Mr. Seifi owed any duty of care in this case to the plaintiff, and the application is dismissed.

‘Particularly vulnerable:’ Proposed law offers protection to Alberta pet owners

Davida Marantz got an unwelcome surprise when she got out of hospital in 2014 and went to pick up her beloved Sheltie Libby from friends.

The dog needed $4,800 dollars in dental surgery while the Edmonton senior was gone, an amount she felt obligated to pay back.

“They were so generous in taking her and caring for her and doing a really fine job that there’s no way I would leave the dog with them and the bill with them,” says Marantz, 70.

But when she checked with other clinics after paying the bill, she found that the surgery could have been done for thousands of dollars less.

That’s why she applauds legislation introduced last week by the Alberta government that cracks down on the way veterinarians communicate their fees.

If passed, veterinarians will be required to disclose their fees up front and get customer approval before any procedures are performed. They will also be allowed to advertise what they charge, something currently prohibited.

“Seniors are so vulnerable because they have these very strong ties to these animals,” Marantz says. “Some clinics may prey on that emotional bond.”

The deputy registrar for the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association is disappointed with the proposed law.

“All procedures that are undertaken by veterinarians are already being done with the authorization of their clients,” says Dr. Phil Buote. “We see this as unnecessary and inappropriate to have this kind of intrusion or overeach into legislation for a self-governing profession.”

Buote says veterinary practices are allowed to set their own fees because they are private businesses and there are no government subsidies.

Stephanie McLean, the minister of Service Alberta, says the majority of veterinarians are “good and trustworthy,” but she says posting their fees and ensuring customers give approval is important.

“Sometimes people have to make the really heart-wrenching choice of putting that animal down or giving it up for adoption because they get slammed with a bill they were completely surprised by,” McLean says.

“It’s a particularly vulnerable situation for folks. There’s a lot of emotions involved if you’re talking about a family member _ even a fluffy family member.”

That’s a situation Sara Courtepatte and her husband faced seven years ago after their cat swallowed a sewing needle.

She says she was charged $300 for an X-ray and was told surgery would be an additional $1,200 to $1,500, which she and her husband didn’t have.

Courtepatte was told it would cost $400 to put the animal down or they could agree to another option.

“They said you give us that $400 and we’ll do the surgery and we’ll take your cat. We paid the money and never saw our cat again. It was an absolutely wretched experience,” she says.

“I remember afterwards sitting in the car crying thinking I just paid somebody to take my cat away. What the hell just happened?”

Courtepatte now has two cats and a dog and she says she pays $300 a month for pet insurance.

She’s glad the government is making sure veterinarians have to make it clear how much care will cost.

“There’s going to be more information up front about cost and I think that would be hugely beneficial.”

Kath Oltsher, co-founder of Zoe’s Animal Rescue in Edmonton, also likes the proposed guidelines. The animal rescue takes in unwanted animals and attempts to help those with low incomes pay for the cost of veterinary care.

Oltsher says she’s had positive experiences with veterinarians who provide services to the shelter. She doesn’t want the profession to think that the changes are meant to be adversarial.

“It does come like we’re coming after you,” she says. “But I don’t know how else to make a change happen.”

Before You Take a Pet Home, Have Realistic Expectations

PeeWeeThe Humane Society works with local groups to provide services and resources to pet owners who feel forced to give up an animal due to a move, landlord conflict or unexpected veterinary costs. They suggest that potential pet owners ask themselves these 10 questions before committing to taking an animal into their family:

1. Why do you want a pet?It’s a long-term commitment, not a decision to be made lightly.

2. Do you have time for a pet?Animal companions need food, water, exercise, care and companionship every day.

3. Can you afford a pet? Licenses, training classes, spaying and neutering, veterinary care, grooming, toys, food, kitty litter and other expenses add up quickly.

4. Are you prepared for the challenges that a pet can present?Flea infestations, scratched furniture, housetraining accidents and medical emergencies are unfortunate but common aspects of pet ownership.

5. Are you allowed to have a pet where you live?Many landlords don’t allow pets, and many rental communities have restrictions. Certain types of dogs also may be excluded from homeowner insurance policies.

6. Is it a good time for you to take in a pet?If you’re a student, in the military, or travel frequently for work, for example, it would be better to wait until you settle down.

7. Are your living arrangements suitable for the animal you have in mind?Animal size is not the only consideration. For example, some small dogs are very active, require a lot of exercise to be calm, and often bark at any noise. Research breeds to help you choose an animal who fits your lifestyle and living arrangements.

8. Will you be a responsible pet owner?Having your pet spayed or neutered, obeying community leash and licensing laws, and keeping identification tags on your pets are all part of being a responsible owner.

9. Do you know who will care for your pet while you’re away for long periods or on vacation?You’ll need either reliable friends and neighbours or money to pay for a boarding kennel or pet-sitting service.

10. Are you prepared to keep and care for your pet for the long haul?When you adopt, you are making a long-term commitment to care for an animal.


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