Third party liability cover for dogs

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What is third party liability insurance for dogs?

Third party liability is a part of your pet insurance policy. It covers you if your dog:

  • Injures someone
  • Injures another dog
  • Damages or breaks someone else’s belongings or property

So long as your dog doesn’t have a history of aggression, then third party liability will cover:

  • Vet bills
  • Legal fees
  • Damage costs

The cover varies between insurers, so check the policy details to make sure it covers what you need. It’s worth looking at the policy exclusions too.

If you’re not sure about anything, or can’t find it in the policy document, just contact the insurer and ask.

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When might I need third party liability insurance for my dog?

It’s not just about your dog seriously injuring someone aggressively:

  1. Your dog might get excited and run into someone, causing them to fall and hurt themselves

  2. They might knock over an object, accidentally damaging it

  3. A third party could take civil action against you and the court might decide you must pay them compensation or cover medical or legal costs

Is third party covered in all pet insurance policies?

It’s usually included in a lifetime or maximum benefit pet insurance policy:


Lifetime pet insurance usually has third party liability cover up to maximum limit, but values vary between policies.

When you renew lifetime insurance, the third party liability value resets.

For example, if your dog runs into the road, causing a traffic accident and you’re found liable for damages that cost £150,000, the policy will cover them.

When your policy renews for year two, the slate’s wiped clean - you’d get the maximum benefit again in the second year, but you might get a more expensive premium.

Maximum benefit

Maximum benefit policies set a lifetime limit for third party liability claims.

If the maximum third party liability value is £2.5m and you’re liable for £1m, the policy would pay and you’d have £1.5m remaining for future claims, if you renew the policy.

You might also have to pay a contribution towards property damage claims - it's normally a fixed amount you’ll find in your paperwork, or the insurer can tell you.

How much is third party liability for dogs?

The policies which cover third party liability - lifetime or maximum benefit - tend to be the pricier policy types. How much they’ll costs depends on the age, breed and health of your dog.

How do I buy the cover?

It comes as standard with certain types of dog insurance, or you might be able to add it to a time-limited or accident-only policy for a fee.

Does third party liability cover include working dogs?

Most policies don’t cover working dogs, or those taken into a workplace on a volunteer basis.

Does it cover dangerous dogs?

If your dog is categorised as a ‘dangerous’ breed, you’ll find it harder to get third party cover because of their reputation.

So long as your dog is declared fine for ownership, and doesn’t have a history of aggression, it’s worth checking to see if you can get pet insurance.

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