The government is planning a scheme by which all dogs in the United Kingdom would have to be insured. The mandatory pet insurance coverage would be designed to pay compensation in the event that the dog attacked a person.
The scheme is part of a package of rules designed to cut down the number of attacks and make it easier to deal with those which do occur. It stems from concerns that with most breeds of dogs, an attack on private property makes it legally difficult to successfully take action against the owner.
Surprisingly insurers don't back the idea. The Association of British Insurers said that while pet insurance can cover such an event, it was unlikely firms would want to offer attack cover to all dog owners. That's because insurers believe the likelihood of a payout is too high to make it profitable in all cases. At the moment most pet insurance specifically excludes some breeds such as those which are legally classed as dangerous.
The ABI noted that the plans in their current form are flawed as they require dog owners to get insurance, but don't require insurers to offer such cover. It also noted that there was no explanation of what would happen if the rules were brought in but somebody was then attacked by an uninsured dog.