An invisible dog fence is just what it sounds like. It uses radio frequency or other methods to keep a dog within a certain area.
The systems can work for some dogs. However, from a home insurance perspective, you need to maintain control over your pet. This may mean counting on your invisible fence is not enough.
What You Need to Know
There are various types of invisible fences. Most of them work through the use of sensors or radio frequency. They are invisible in that they are unlike other fences that provide a physical barricade. The dog wears a collar or other device. When he or she approaches the boundary, the collar can cause a small static shock to warn the pet. Some fences also emit frequencies only audible to dogs. Over time the pet learns its boundaries.
Many times, these fences work well to keep the animal where it needs to be. However, there is no physical restriction here. If the dog were to decide to move beyond the boundary, it could get free. It could move into another person’s yard or the street. When this happens, the dog may be a risk to others. It might damage someone's belongings, or worse bite another person.
How Does It Impact Home Insurance?
Most of the time, home insurance policies need to include the dog's risks, too. Let your agent know you have a pet. If you have a fence, let the insurer know this, too. An invisible fence is better than no restraint at all.
However, it is still your responsibility to keep your dog in a safe space. It is also your responsibility to keep other people in the area safe from your pet, too. For this reason, if your pet gets loose and hurts another person you may still be responsible.
Most cities have leash laws to minimize this risk. Even these leashes can fail. Even physical fences can fail if the pet breaks through them. In all cases, the homeowner likely remains at fault if the pet hurts another person. The property owner is at fault if the dog causes damage to another person’s property, too.
Be sure your home insurance reflects the presence of your pet. You want to be sure there is ample liability protection in place. While an invisible fence is beneficial, it is also important to always keep an eye on your pet. Even the most well behaved animals can make it through these fencing systems.