Even the friendliest of canines has the potential to bite someone and most people rely on their homeowner’s insurance to cover medical expenses, hospital bills, and associated legal expenses. However, don’t assume this is true. Much will depend on the insurance company and scope of the policy.
Dog bites and attacks aren’t covered under all insurance policies and a significant number of policies limit coverage related to dog bites or exclude coverage entirely. Individuals that have a dog should examine their policies carefully to ascertain their coverage in regard to their canine. Anyone thinking of getting a dog should ensure their renters or homeowners policy includes that coverage before going to the local animal shelter.
In Florida, many insurance companies offer dog bite coverage as a separate policy that doesn’t have breed exclusions. It’s especially important for individuals that own breeds that are traditionally viewed with suspicion such as rottweilers, Dobermans and pit bulls.
Most dog owners assume that their dog won’t bite and that instances of attacks are rare. Statistics show that one-third of all homeowner insurance claims are related to dog bites and the average cost amounts to approximately $32,000. Florida law states that owners are responsible if their dog bites someone, regardless of whether the dog has ever bitten someone or demonstrated aggressive behavior in the past.
Florida is a dog-friendly state and people take their dogs with them on the beach, to restaurants and when running errands. However, it opens the door to the potential for dog bites. Canines can become tired, overheated, and footsore due to hot pavement. Those conditions can be especially difficult on elderly dogs that have no way of telling owners they’re nearing the end of their patience and endurance.
Pet parents should know that their dog may be impounded even if they have dog bite insurance and the canine is up to date on all vaccinations. If the injuries are severe or a person dies due to the attack, the dog will automatically be confiscated and euthanized following a 10 days’ notice to the owner.
For more information about how The Sena Group can help you with any
of your insurance needs, please contact us at 561-391-4661.
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The Sena Group
6501 Congress Ave., Ste. 100
Boca Raton, FL 33487