What You Need to Know about Dog Bite Liability Insurance

Many homeowners, have questions about dog bite liability insurance. Do you have a dog? Or are you considering adopting a dog or getting a puppy? According to the 2015-2016 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, 65% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 79.7 millions homes.

Our blogs and short Youtube videos are designed to give our clients and referral partners an insiders understanding of the insurance industry and related topics. We hope that this blog article will help you to understand why it is important to have Dog Bite Liability Insurance coverage.

Since many of us view our dogs as a member of our family, getting rid of our beloved pet is not an option. “And it is very true,” Maira Kalman (author of Beloved Dog) writes, “that the most tender, complicated, most generous part of our being blossoms without any effort, when it comes to the love of a dog.”  

learn about dog bite liability insurance

As dog owners, it is important to be aware of the risks and liabilities. Your Erb and Young Insurance Agent is here to make sure that you have peace of mind through providing you with the right insurance coverage and to let you know which breeds may be viewed as “higher risks”.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the United States. Almost 1 out of 5 bites becomes infected.  Animals, even those in close association with humans, such as dogs, can attack if they perceive threat, are protecting their young or territory, or are injured or ill. Although attacks by wild animals are more dramatic, attacks by domestic animals are far more common, and secondary infections of wounds may result in serious systemic disease.”

The Insurance Institute Reported:Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2014, costing more than $530 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm®. The average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 67 percent from 2003 to 2014, due to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs, which are still on the upswing.” 

This is why some Florida insurance companies will not insure a homeowner who has a pet of certain breeds of dogs categorized as dangerous, such as pit bulls. Other  insurance companies decide on a case-by-case basis, depending on whether your dog, regardless of its breed has been deemed vicious. Some will cover a pet if the owner takes the dog to special classes aimed at training their behavior or if their dog is restrained with a chain or kept in a cage.

DogBiteLaw.com reports: “Of the 800,000 annual dog bites that require medical attention in the USA, more than half of the victims are children, and more than half of the child-victims are bitten on the face. The medical costs and other losses stemming from a bite to the face ranges from the tens of thousands of dollars to the hundreds of thousands. Imagine the effect of a $100,000 judgment upon a homeowner: he literally could lose his house. That is why homeowners insurance without protection against dog bites is an illusion. Your house is not fully covered, because with one snap of your dog’s jaws, you can lose it — unless your policy protects you.”

Contact your Erb and Young Insurance Agent to discuss dog bite liability insurance.


For more information and to get answers to specific insurance questions, please contact an Erb and Young Insurance Agent. Your Erb and Young Insurance agent will provide you with exceptional service, rates and a FREE professional consultation. We focus on the relationship, not the transaction. Since we’re independent agents, our allegiance lies with our clients, not the insurance companies. We want you to avoid overpaying for a policy that is not providing the right coverage and we want you to gain the benefits of knowing and being known by your Erb and Young Insurance agent.

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