Compulsory third-party insurance proposal dismissed

Government proposals to introduce compulsory third-party insurance for all dogs have been dismissed as unworkable by insurers.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has published a consultation paper on dealing with dangerous dogs in response to concerns about the ineffectiveness of existing measures to tackle the problems they cause.

Among a range of recommendations, such as compulsory micro-chipping for dangerous breeds, it proposes making third-party insurance mandatory for all dog owners in order to compensate victims of attacks, with penalties for those who fail to do so. Alternatively, it says, just the owners of certain breeds could have to maintain third-party cover.

But David Seel, managing director of Capita’s pet insurance division Thornside, said no products offering third-party liability for dangerous dogs existed.

“It will be difficult to implement and enforce,” he said, adding that those people who kept dangerous dogs were possibly least likely to take out insurance, partly due to cost.