While visiting a friend in Florida recently, you suffered a bite from her dog. You do not want to take legal action against your friend, but you feel that you must to cover the resulting medical bills and lost wages. Does homeowners insurance include dog liability?
To help treat your wounds and preserve your friendship, read what the Insurance Information Institute says about dog bites and homeowners policies. Learn which steps to take next to receive proper medical care and compensation.
Usually, renters and homeowners insurance covers damages resulting from a dog bite. Ask your friend about her policy limits, as the extent of your injuries and lost wages may exceed those limits. If they do, your friend must likely cover the remaining costs.
Depending on the insurance provider, certain dog breeds may not qualify for coverage, mainly those with a dangerous reputation. Rather than rejecting a claim outright based on the dog’s breed, some insurance companies determine whether to handle a claim after investigating. Other companies refrain from asking policyholders about their dog’s breed, and they may not keep track of dog-bite statistics.
The personal responsibility
Is this the first time your friend’s dog harmed someone? If a similar incident happened in the past, your friend may bear full financial liability for your wound, not the insurance company. Local or state statutes may also let you know whether pet owners become liable for harm that their dogs inflict, no matter if they knew about the possibility of their pet biting someone.
Focus on recovering physically and financially after your dog bite. Hopefully, your friendship endures the outcome.