Does Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover Dog Bites?

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Most renter’s or homeowner’s policy will cover damages linked to a dog bite claim. Dog bite claims are commonly pursued under a homeowner’s policy and renter’s policy.

California is a “strict liability” state, meaning it gives compensation for those who were bitten when in a public place or lawfully in a private place. The policy covers injuries of the dog bite victim up to the liability limit. If the damages amount exceeds the limit of liability, then the dog’s owner is liable for the excess amount not covered under it.

Here lawyers in California tackle common questions related to insurance payouts for dog bites. Thankfully, the state has many lawyers for dog bites who are experienced in this matter.

Does Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover Dog Bites?

The dog owner’s insurance will pay for the dog bite victim’s damages and injuries. In fact, around one-third of home insurance claims paid out back in 2016 were for not just dog bites, but for other dog-related injuries as well.

Whether the insurer will cover a dog bite attack which is off its owner’s premises depends on the insurance policy language. The general liability insurance provision usually covers dog bite instances occurring off the property of the dog owner, but you have to check your policy to be sure of this.

Do Some Insurers Exclude Coverage for Dog Breeds that are Deemed “Aggressive”?

Some insurance companies keep out liability coverage for certain breeds. Those that are subject to limitations include the following dog breeds.

  • Staffordshire terriers
  • Pit bulls
  • Dobermans
  • Chows
  • German Shepherds
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Akitas
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Wolf hybrids

Besides, some insurance companies may limit the amount which they will pay for injuries to the dog bite victims and/or the number of claims which they will pay.

What If the Owner Does Not Carry Either of These Insurance Policies?

If the owner of the dog does not have either a homeowner’s or a renter’s policy, or if he or she has the policy but the limits of it do not cover that bite victim’s cost of damages, then the latter can sue the former for his or her dog bite injuries. However, even when the judgment is in your favor, you are not guaranteed to get the payout if the defendant has zero assets, or is “judgment proof”.

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