Homeowners Insurance and Dog Bites
If you are the victim of a dog bite, you may be able to seek redress under the dog owner’s homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites are one of the most common liability claims on homeowners insurance policies, amounting to more than a third of all such claims. So it is quite common for both renters and homeowners insurance policies to protect the owner of the dog if the dog bites someone up to the liability limits of the policy they purchased. If the victim’s claim exceeds the homeowners or renters insurance limits, the dog owner may be responsible for all damages above that amount. Damages that a dog bite victim may be able to recover under such a policy include both the physical injuries that a dog bite causes (which in turn leads to significant medical injuries) and the emotional trauma that the dog bite causes.
However, not all insurance companies or policies cover homeowners and renters from certain breeds of dogs that are known to be vicious, such a pit bulls. For example, if a dog has previously bitten someone or was found to be vicious, the insurance company may exclude the dog from coverage, knowing it poses a risk to others and that there is a chance that the insurance company would later pay significant damages under that policy if the dog is not excluded.