Experienced Local Attorneys

Will the owner’s insurance cover the cost of a dog bite attack?

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2023 | Dog Bites |

Having a dog turn vicious and bite you can be an emotionally traumatizing experience. It can also be a very expensive moment, as the injuries the dog causes could put someone in the emergency room. Some people may require cosmetic surgery following an animal attack, and others may develop serious infections.

Although you probably have health insurance that could cover some of those costs, you know that using your insurance might be an expensive choice. After all, most health insurance policies pass a lot of the care costs for treatments back to the person making a claim.

Can you count on the insurance carried by the dog’s owner to cover your medical expenses after an animal bites you or a member of your family?

Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance cover animal bites

The good news for those affected by an animal attack is that an insurance policy that includes premises liability coverage will likely help compensate you for any injuries caused by an animal at that property. In fact, if the owner takes the dog for a walk or to the local park, and that is where the animal attacks you, the policy should still protect you in that alternate location.

Of course, there are some limits to the protection of homeowner’s insurance following a dog bite. Typically, homeowners need to disclose sources of liability to their insurance companies to have full protection. Some insurance companies may even impose breed-specific restrictions on coverage.

Homeowners will either not be able to use a specific insurance company or will have to pay more for their coverage if they have certain high-risk breeds of dog, like German Shepherds and Rottweilers, among others. Unless there has been an omission or misrepresentation made to the insurance company by the homeowner, in most cases, homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance may cover the losses suffered by someone bitten by the policyholder’s animal or injured on their property.

What if there isn’t insurance coverage?

Sometimes, there won’t be active coverage to reimburse you for the expenses caused by a dog bite. Many people who rent their homes do not carry insurance unless their landlords mandate it. Those who own their own homes but do not have a mortgage might forgo homeowner’s insurance, gambling on the idea that no one will get hurt at their property. In a scenario where there is not insurance, the person attacked by someone’s pet may have to consider filing a civil lawsuit against the animal’s owner.

Understanding the protections available to you will help you better defray the expenses generated in a dog bite attack.