Call Us Today!  281.240.4070 or 1.888.240.4070

Get Insurance Quotes
Just one click from getting a free insurance quote today!

Chamber of Commerce

Before a quote can be provided, your agent will have to ask some questions to get enough information to obtain an accurate quote. Expect to be asked questions about:

  • The nature of your business
  • The location of your business
  • How long you have been in business
  • Your business's claim history (if applicable)
  • How many employees you have
  • How many square feet your business location occupies
  • Does your business do manufacturing on-site?
  • Do customers come to your place of business?
  • If your business manufactures a product, what age group uses your product? Children? Teenagers? Adults? Senior citizens?
  • What do you want your deductible amount to be?
  • Do you want a medical payments provision?

Before your trip, make sure you get a complete travel check-up for your RV including inspection of all belts and hoses, headlights, tires, and turn signals. Also don’t forget to make sure the towing hitch, fire extinguisher and smoke alarms are in working order.

Other good before trip tips are to make sure your cooking vent hood is clean to help avoid fires and to make sure you leave your trip plans and phone numbers with a relative or friend.

Finally, it is important to go over with everyone on the trip basic emergency procedures.

Remind everyone that it is safer to be in the RV during lightning. If there is a tornado warning you will want to find a tornado shelter or the next best thing which would be parking under a bridge or similar structure. Also, don’t ever drive through any deep water as the depth can be deceiving.

What happens when a dog bites and injures someone? In most -- but not all -- instances, dog owners are financially liable for any injury or property damage their pets cause.

Here's what you need to know about dog-induced injury and liability, no matter which side of the leash you're on.

When Owners Are Liable

In general, there are three ways that dog owners can be legally liable for injuries caused when their dog bites someone.

Dog-Bite Statutes

More than half of U.S. states have laws that make dog owners liable almost any time their dogs injure someone. Although commonly called dog-bite statutes, many of these laws cover all kinds of dog-inflicted injuries, not just bites.

Dog-bite statutes are "strict liability" statutes because they impose liability without fault. That is, an injured person does not have to prove that the dog owner did anything wrong, just that the dog caused the injury. Typically, dog owners are liable under a dog-bite statute only if the dog directly caused the injury.

The One-Bite Rule

This misleadingly named rule (dogs don't necessarily get one "free" bite before the owner becomes liable, as discussed below) makes an owner legally responsible for an injury caused by a dog only if the owner knew the dog was likely to cause that type of injury -- for example, that the dog would be likely to bite. The victim must prove that the owner knew the dog was dangerous.

This rule, developed in court cases over many years, comes into play only if the state has no dog-bite statute or if the statute doesn't apply -- for example, if the statute covers only bites, and the dog caused the injury by knocking someone down.

How does an owner know a dog is dangerous? The dog doesn't have to have already bitten someone. Other indications that might lead a court to believe the owner knew the dog was dangerous include:

  • The dog threatens people. The owner of a dog that often growls and snaps at people in public but hasn't ever actually bitten someone is on notice that the dog might bite someone. If the dog does bite, the owner will be liable.
  • The dog jumps on people. The owner of a friendly, playful, large dog which is in the habit of jumping on house guests will be liable if the exuberant dog injures someone. Keep in mind that the motivation of the dog is unimportant for legal purposes -- it doesn't matter that the dog who knocked you down a flight of stairs was just trying to be friendly. An owner who knew that the dog behaved this way and might injure someone because of its size will be liable.
  • The dog frightens people. If a dog habitually runs along the fence between the yard and the sidewalk while barking furiously or chases pedestrians or bicyclists, the owner may be liable if the dog causes an injury.
  • The dog has been trained to fight.  If a dog has been trained to fight, a court will almost certainly conclude that the owner should have known that the dog was dangerous. (Not all fighting dogs are aggressive toward people. However, a dog that has been agitated and abused by someone who wants the dog to fight may well be dangerous.)
  • There have been complaints about the dog. If neighbors or others complain to the owner that a dog has threatened or bitten someone, the owner would certainly be on notice that the dog is dangerous.
  • The dog's breed is considered to be dangerous. Generally, courts don't consider dogs of certain breeds to be inherently dangerous, but in some places, pit bulls, rottweilers, and a few other breeds have been defined by law as dangerous dogs.

Negligence Laws

Negligence is the third legal doctrine under which a dog owner may be found liable for injuries caused by a dog. A dog owner who is negligent (unreasonably careless) in handling a dog may be legally responsible if somebody is hurt and a reasonable owner would have foreseen the possibility of injury.

When it comes to defining negligence, broad rules are of little help. Whether or not someone acted negligently is a question that must be answered based on the facts of the situation. It's possible that an owner of a certain breed of dog can be found negligent for not taking special precautions to prevent the dog from causing injury.

A Dog Owner's Legal Defenses

If you are a dog owner whose dog has bitten someone, you may be able to defend yourself against the victim's assertion that you are liable for the injuries. However, not all defenses can be used in all states and all situations. For example, some defenses may be available if the dog owner's liability is based on a case law ("common law") theory, but not under a dog-bite statute.

When defending against a dog bite claim, a dog owner should pay attention to who has the burden of proof: that is, which party is required to prove that its version of events is true. For example, some dog-bite statutes require the victim to prove that he or she wasn't at fault; the dog owner doesn't have to prove the victim was at fault.

A dog owner may be able to avoid liability in the following situations:

The injured person provoked the dog. Some acts -- for example, hitting or teasing a dog -- can almost always get the dog and its owner off the hook. However, innocent and unintentional provocation of a dog (for example, accidentally stepping on a dog's tail) can also count as provocation that may let the dog owner off the hook. The motivation of the injured person is irrelevant to whether the dog was provoked.

The injured person knowingly took the risk of being injured by the dog. If you warn a visitor that your dog, which is in the back yard, might bite a stranger, or if you post a warning sign, you have a good argument that anyone who gets injured took on the risk of injury, knowingly.

In addition, people who make a living working with dogs -- groomers, pet sitters, veterinarians, or kennel operators, for example -- are generally presumed to voluntarily take the risk of a dog bite. However, in some states with dog-bite statutes, the owner is still liable even if the injured party knowingly took the risk.

The injured person was trespassing. In most states, dog owners aren't liable to trespassers who are injured by a dog. However, unless you warn people off your property with signs or locked gates, you are considered to have given an "implied invitation" to members of the public to approach your door on common errands -- for example, to speak with you, to try to sell you something, or to ask directions.

A general rule is that a dog owner who could reasonably expect someone to be on the property is probably going to be liable for any injury that person suffers. This rule is particularly important when it comes to children: There is a legal responsibility either to prevent the child from coming on the property or to keep the dog from injuring the child.

The injured person was unreasonably careless, and that carelessness contributed to the injury. The owner may not be liable if, for example, the injured person ignored a "Beware of Dog" sign.

Prevention: The Best Remedy

Probably the most important piece of advice when it comes to legal liability for dog bites is this: Do all you can to prevent your dog from injuring others and do all you can to prevent yourself from becoming a dog bite victim. Take appropriate precautions and teach children how to behave around dogs. To learn more about ways to prevent your dog from biting or injuring others, read How Dog Owners Can Avoid a Lawsuit.

Have an auto accident or car breakdown?

You take plenty of safety precautions when you’re on the road, like using seatbelts, maintaining your engine and tires, and keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you. But sometimes the unexpected can happen. You could find yourself in an accident or your car could break down. Here are some tips on dealing with these unwelcome surprises.

Auto accident

It can happen to anyone. Perhaps you were in a hurry or slightly distracted. Maybe someone else was at fault. Whatever the reason, you are suddenly involved in an accident. Here’s what you need to do:

Try to stay calm.Once you're certain that no one is hurt, determine the extent of the damage. Even if the damage was minor, you will still need to contact police and file an accident report. You could be pressured at the scene of an accident to make snap decisions. Don't let that happen. Take the time you need to assess the situation and get all the facts, including insurance information from the other driver.

Call for help. If you are involved in a serious accident, call 911 and take care of anyone who is injured; keep them warm and don’t move them unless they are in immediate danger.

Be aware of your surroundings. Watch for approaching vehicles, turn on your vehicle hazard lights and, if possible, set up flares or reflectors to warn oncoming traffic. Make sure nobody smokes, lights a match or places flares near the vehicles in case of fuel leaks. Let the 911 operator know if a vehicle is on fire and make sure everyone stays away from it.

Move your vehicle out of the flow of traffic - if you can do so safely. If your vehicle isn’t driveable, arrange to have it towed somewhere safe, such as your driveway or a reputable facility. Never sign a blank towing invoice; ensure prices are included on the invoice before your vehicle goes anywhere.

Collect important information, including:

  • Each driver’s name, license number, insurance company name and policy number
  • The types of vehicles involved and the plate numbers
  • The location of each vehicle
  • Names of passengers and witnesses

Do not leave the scene until the police file a full report. It can be tempting to talk about what happened with the other driver. But it's important to limit your discussion of the accident. Only discuss the accident with the police and your insurance company.

Contact your insurance provider. Your agent will need to document the details of the accident and what other cars were involved, if any, to file a claim. Your agent can review your auto insurance policy with you and explain what your policy will cover. If the accident was your fault, it will likely affect your premiums. If you have accident forgiveness as part of your automobile insurance policy, and this is your first at-fault accident, you can take comfort in knowing that it will not affect your auto insurance premiums.

Have your vehicle repaired by a reputable repair shop. Before you arrange to have your vehicle repaired, ask your agent for a recommendation. Your agent can give you the name and address of our Enhanced Service Partners repair shop in your area. This repair shop must have a proven commitment to customer service and quality collision repairs to be part of our program.

Repairs from an Enhanced Service Partner facility to your vehicle are guaranteed for as long as you own it. Additional estimates are not required and you can pre-select an approved repair facility and schedule repairs at your convenience.

Car breakdown

Car trouble can be a terrible inconvenience. Even worse, a breakdown can put you in a dangerous situation. It can leave you stranded or cause an accident. Here’s what you need to do if your car starts showing signs of trouble or breaks down completely:

At the first sign of trouble, gently take your foot off the accelerator. Do not brake hard or suddenly. Carefully manoeuvre your vehicle toward the side of the road.

Put your hazard lights on and watch your mirrors to keep an eye on the traffic around you. Once you're off the road, make sure your car is visible. If it's dark outside, turn on your vehicle's interior light.

Change a flat tire in a safe place. If you have a flat tire, drive your car further off the road, if necessary, to keep away from traffic. Once you’re certain you're safe, change your tire as you normally would.

Seek the right kind of help. If you're unable to fix your car or not sure why your car won't operate properly, it's best to get professional help. Don't try to flag down other drivers. Raise your hood and tie something white to the radio antenna so police officers or tow truck operators will know that you need help.

Stay inside your vehicle with the doors locked. If your car is in a safe place, stay inside. Just make sure exhaust fumes are not getting inside your vehicle. Clear snow or dirt away from your vehicle's tailpipe.

Use your cellular phone to call for help. If you don’t have a cell phone and someone stops and offers help, roll down your window slightly and ask them to call the police.

Consider walking if help is nearby, but don’t put your safety at risk. Keep as far away from traffic as possible. It's very dangerous to walk on a provincial highway or to attempt to cross a multi-lane highway.

Keep an emergency kit inside your car in case of a breakdown. Your kit could include a flashlight, flares, a warm blanket, water bottles and other necessities.

Learn to do basic car repairs, such as how to connect the battery, check the oil and radiator fluid, and change a tire.

When you are involved in an accident events can be confusing and important information can be overlooked. That is why we made it simple for you to record vital details of the accident. You can print the accident form in the tools and resources section. If you have further questions please contact us.

Read This First

If you have an accident follow these simple steps to speed up the processing of your claim. The more information we have, the faster and more fairly and more fairly we can settle your claim.

  • Call the Police

  • Stay at the scene

  • Do not discuss the accident with anyone but the the Police at the scene.

  • Do not discuss detail of your insurance coverage or your policy limits.

  • Get a Police Report Number if possible.

  • Write down the names, addresses and phone numbers of others involved in the accident and witnesses.

  • Write down the license numbers and insurance company names and policy numbers of everyone involved in the accident.

Accident Notes

Use the form to record your own recollection of the accident as soon as you can, while details are still fresh in your memory. Write the date and time of the accident and the weather and road conditions. Write down all details you can think of even if they do not seem important to you. IMPORTANT - If you have a camera or a Cell Phone with picture capability take some shots of the scene, vehicle damage etc.

Accident Information Form - Witnesses

Please complete as much of the following information as possible.

  • Did you see the accident?

  • Were you involved in the accident?

  • Describe the accident.

  • Did anyone appear to be hurt?

  • Who, if anyone, do you feel was responsible?

  • Your Name

  • Your Address

  • Your Phone Numbers at home and work

Accident Information Form - Other Driver

Your Information that is needed.

  • Name

  • Address

  • Home Address

  • Work Phone

  • Driver's License #

  • Insurance Agent

  • Insurance Company

  • Insurance Policy #

  • Are you injured?

Passengers Information that is needed.

  • Name

  • Address

  • Phone#

  • Are you injured?

customer_service_new

insurancepro_button

Does my Homeowners policy have that?

How much do you know about your insurance
policy? Let us explain some of the key things
you need to look for when comparing policies.

Learn more!

Planning for the Upcoming Hurricane Season?

The season is always around the corner and
you should be prepared for the unexpected.
Here is our list of things you should review.

Learn more!

Are you prepared for a fire in your home?

There are many steps you can take to reduce
the chance of a fire in your home. Let us show
you a few things that will help your prevention.

Learn more!

Tips for Buying

Here are a few tips to purchasing
Homeowners insurance.

Find out more

Life Insurance Tips

Life insurance purchasing is hard,
here's some of the top tips to help.

Find out more

Health Insurance Tips

Here are a few key strategies to
help you get the right deal.

Find out more

Storm Safety Tips

When a storm is on the way, we
can help you prepare!

Find out more