Dog Bite Liability Coverage
In Missouri, dog bite cases are typically handled through the dog owner’s homeowners or renters’ insurance policy. These insurance policies usually provide liability coverage for incidents involving the policy holder’s dog, including dog bites. However, the amount of coverage and specific terms of the policy can vary, so it is important to review the policy details and speak with an experienced dog bite attorney who can help you understand your options and navigate the legal claims process.
It is also important to note that some insurance policies written in Missouri may have exclusions for certain breeds of dogs or for dogs with a history of aggression. Additionally, if the dog's owner is a tenant, they may have a renter's insurance policy which may also have dog bite liability coverage.
If the dog owner does not have insurance or if their policy limits are not enough to cover the damages, the victim may be able to pursue legal action against the owner directly. Unfortunately, most of the time, if the dog owner did not have insurance, he or she may not have any assets to cover the victim’s damages.
What Percentage of Homeowner's Liability Claims are Related to Dog Bites?
Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowner’s liability claim dollars paid out in 2021, costing $881 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm, the largest writer of homeowners insurance in the United States. An analysis of this data also confirmed that the number of dog bite claims nationwide increased to 17,989, compared to 17,567 in 2020 – a 2.2 percent increase. However, the average cost per claim decreased 1.1 percent from 2020-2021, but the overall 10-year trend was 39 percent. The average cost paid out for dog bite claims was $49,025 in 2021, compared with $50,245 in 2020.
Don't hesitate to contact the Kansas City dog bite attorneys at Foster Wallace, LLC for a free consultation and we will guide you through the process of filing a claim, and help you understand your rights and options. Remember, the sooner you contact us, the better the chances of a successful outcome. You can call us at 816.249.2101 or fill out the contact form on our website.