Dog Bite Insurance Claims on the Rise – Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that over 4 million people are bitten by dogs every year in Florida and the rest of the United States. Of these dog bite incidents about 800,000 require medical attention. Since over half of dog bites occur on the owner’s property, homeowners and homeowner’s insurance carriers need to address or deal with the vast number of claims and lawsuits that result from dog bite incidents. In Florida, a dog owner is strictly liable for the injuries resulting from a dog bite. There are some rare exceptions to this rule, but, generally, the dog owner is liable. It is important for all dog owners to check with their homeowner’s insurance carriers / companies to make sure that there is coverage under the policy for dog bites. I was recently contacted by the father of a young girl who was bitten by a dog. The “good news” was that the dog owner had homeowner’s insurance coverage. The “bad news” was that there was a dog bite exclusion. In other words, the insurance policy had an exclusion or exception for dog bites. As such, there was no liability insurance in place for dog bites. If you or your child has been bitten by a dog, it is important to retain a Florida Child Injury Lawyer to determine the legal options, coverages / exclusions under the homeowner’s liability insurance policy, and other legal issues.