All Dog Owners Need Dog Liability Insurance

It’s important not to wait until your dog has bitten someone to obtain coverage. At that point it will be too late to purchase dog liability insurance. Also, the animal will be considered dangerous from a legal standpoint, making the task of getting insurance even more difficult. While you may argue that this is not the animal’s normal behavior, the fact remains that the dog attacked and injured another person. Whatever the reason, without dog liability insurance, you could very well be liable for thousands of dollars in damages.

In a court of law, dog owners are liable for any injuries their pets causes, especially if the owner knew the dog had a tendency to cause that kind of injury, or a state statute makes the owner liable. Regardless whether or not the owner knew the dog had a tendency to cause that kind of injury, as the owner you must take reasonable care to ensure that your dog is kept at bay. Otherwise the court may rule that the injury was caused by unreasonable carelessness on the part of the owner.

Dog-bite statute (strict liability)

Under this statute, as the dog owner, you’re liable for any injury or property damage the dog causes, even without provocation. This law concerning dog bites in Florida is known as strict liability. Other states in addition to Florida, such as California, Ohio, and New Jersey, have strict liability laws for dog bite injuries, and state that the dog owner is liable for any injuries his or her dog causes.

Florida Dog Bite Law (negligence)

Strict liability differs from what are known as “one bite” laws, which do not fault the dog owner unless the dog has already injured someone previously. There are however exceptions to this rule. For example, if a person were found to be trespassing on private property, or provoking the dog when they were attacked, then the dog owner will likely not be found at fault.

In addition to strict liability laws, an owner can be found guilty on the grounds of negligence. Every state has some form or another of negligence laws. Dog bite injuries often fall under this area or more specifically under an area of tort law known as personal liability. You should always have dog liability insurance to deal with the issue of your dog biting or otherwise causing harm to people or other animals.

Avoiding Lawsuits By Having Dangerous Dog Insurance

There are at least 4.7 million dog bites every year in the US, a figure that is likely higher since many cases probably go unreported. From that total, fortunately only about 800,000 victims receive medical attention annually. Many of the more seriously injured victims often don’t receive compensation due to the fact that they’re bitten when the owner isn’t present and cannot be identified. There is cause for added concern because many dangerous dogs can be found wandering the streets.

Those that are held accountable for the actions of their pets will need dangerous dog insurance or another form of dog bite coverage if they are named in a lawsuit. The liability segment of the insurance industry only pays an average of 17,500 dog bite victims per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. It is approximated that payments are made to only 2% of victims who wind up going to see a doctor for injuries resulting from dog bites.

Additional insurance for dog owners makes sense

In the event that you are sued you may find yourself worrying about whether or not you have bought enough insurance coverage to pay for any claims. You must understand that the $100,000 limit found in most homeowner policies is usually enough for most settlements, but If the injuries are substantial, this amount may not actually be enough. If that is the case, you’ll want to have an umbrella policy or excess policy in place. Umbrella and excess policies generally provide $1 million of coverage for about $100 per year.

Keep aggressive or dangerous dogs on a leash

For owners of dogs that show signs of aggression you really need to keep the dog away from people, especially small children. A leash, or muzzling your pet when it is around people is advised, as well as strictly following all animal control laws (anti-trespassing laws) that apply to dogs and their owners. Owners of dogs deemed “dangerous breeds” have a difficult defense when the animal attacks someone.

There are measures you can take long before a situation escalates. First, be extremely sympathetic to the dog bite victim (and their family), and show concern without necessarily accepting blame. Offering to pay for any medical services that may be required can certainly defuse the situation. Hopefully they’ll see you as someone caring and may decide not to take you to court, but make sure to have dangerous dog insurance to deal with any instances where your dog behaves badly.

Legal Issues and Dog Bite Liability Insurance

Dog owners should be aware of local laws pertaining to their responsibilities if their dog bites someone, and also carry dog bite liability insurance to help pay legal and medical costs. It can be a great help to you and your pet if you can prove the animal was provoked in any way. If your dog bites someone, but you have video evidence that it happened in response to the animal being teased or treated cruelly (the person threw rocks or was using a stick to irritate the animal), as the dog’s owner you may be able to gain a better legal position in the matter. Notifying the parents of a child that you had actually observed the teasing or cruelty taking place could help determine the outcome of the incident.

We suggest that any notification be made both verbally and in writing by mail (certified mail is recommended). You should also keep a record of any and all events in case an investigation does occur. Any acts of animal cruelty should be reported to the local authorities and/or animal control department as well as humane organizations. This will establish a legal defense should you find yourself embroiled in a lawsuit.

Ways to help prevent aggressive behavior in dogs

There are several ways to stem the tide of bad behavior, and many owners of dogs choose to enroll their pets in obedience classes. Neutering male dogs can significantly reduce dominance problems and stem some other forms of aggression. Make sure your dog gets lots of appropriate exercise but also keep your dog on a leash or in a physically fenced in area whenever outside. Never leave young children alone with a dog, and teach them how to behave around animals.

You should also inform houseguests that they shouldn’t exhibit fear, as acting nervously around an animal often sends a message that most dogs will pick up or sense, especially dogs with aggressive tendencies. Guests should be instructed to never disturb your dog while sleeping or eating and ask children not to tease, yell, or make sudden movements around the animal.

You should always demonstrate what it means to be a responsible dog owner. Being an irresponsible dog owner can lead to circumstances that can be detrimental to both you and your pet. If you need to purchase dog bite liability insurance we suggest you speak to an agent and get a quote as soon as possible.

Get Dog Bite Insurance Liability Quotes Because Bowser Grows

So you have a new German shepherd puppy–congratulations! No doubt you have already made a pilgrimage to the local pet store to stock up on pet food, dishes, a leash, assorted grooming products, a comfy doggie bed, wee-wee pads (hello, housebreaking), and of course, plenty of treats and toys to keep your new friend happy and content. Another thing you might not have on your list but should definitely consider is dog bite liability insurance quotes from a reputable provider of such coverage.

Little and cute doesn’t last forever

Why? Consider that your little guy is going to more than quadruple in size and strength in just a number of months. No doubt you will do your best to <a href="http://www.dogbitequote acheter cialis” target=”_blank”>socialize your pet properly, which can help reduce the likelihood that he will resort to biting behavior under normal interactions with friends and family. Nevertheless, an animal is just that–an animal, and thus is prone to following its deeply ingrained instincts which no amount of training can overcome one hundred percent of the time. Having a policy that protects you in the event your pet injures someone is a great way to reduce the liability that comes into play when owning a dog, particularly a larger breed.

Shop wisely and well

Not all insurers offer this type of coverage, so it is important to contact a professional insurance agent who can put you in touch with reputable companies that have the kind of protection you need at a competitive price. You’ll find that the peace of mind that comes with owning a policy is well worth the price of the premium. And the thousands of dollars or much more that a policy can save you in the event of an incident can mean the difference between financial stability and financial ruin.

Make your puppy happy and prevent gum decay by feeding a minimum of soft foods that leave debris, kibble and other hard food and biscuits to scrub the teeth clean, brushing his teeth a couple times a week, and giving him hard rubber and nylon toys for chewing on. Make your financial sense happy by seeing an agent to discuss dog bite liability insurance quotes today.

Liability Insurance for Dog Owners and Leash Laws

Leash laws were established and created to protect dog owners and their dogs, as well as the general public, from animals whose behavior might become unpredictable under certain circumstances. Dog owners have a responsibility to make sure that they are raising happy, well-behaved dogs, and to provide them with an outlet; dogs that are shuttered and never walked nor taken to the park and allowed to run around generally do not do well statistically.

The reason why pet owners need to purchase liability insurance for pet owners is so that, if for any reason, their “best friend” bites or injures someone in anyway, they will have financial protection in the event they are sued or made responsible for the payment of any medical bills in relation to the injury.

Leash laws are a vital and should be upheld

Several states have dog leash laws and requirements throughout their state, and Florida is among them. These laws, usually referred to as “Running at Large Statutes” exist in a number of states, and those states without “Running at Large Statutes,” which may include counties, towns, cities, municipalities, and boroughs, often enact their own leash laws.

Understandably, most dog owners prefer to let their dogs run loose, especially in designated dog parks, just so that they get exercise and have a good time, but it should be understood that the dog leash laws were enacted for a reason. Safety is always the primary goal; not all dogs are friendly and there are often many children, sometimes very young ones, playing in these parks.

The problem is that some dogs may get a bit too excited and even run from the park and into the street. Some people are just terribly afraid of dogs and their reaction might cause the poor animal to attack, or simply become “too friendly” and even take a nip at the person. When some people have a dog run up to them, whether the animal is friendly or not, they can become rather frightened.

Rather than risk having to report a claim on your liability insurance for dog owners, keep your pet on a leash whenever and wherever necessary.

A Conversation About Dog Bite Liability Insurance

“What a ridiculous thing–who’d ever heard of liability insurance for dogs?” said Ellen to her girlfriend Nancy while the two were out walking their respective little balls of fur, Lilo and Stitch. “It sounds like some of that expensive nonsense like dog psychiatrists and psychics and exotic food–like your friend who gives her dog only that expensive bottled water to drink. She does realize that her dog would drink out of the toilet bowl if given an opportunity, right?”

“Actually,” replied Nancy, “it’s a smart move when you have a pet–in fact, I have a policy myself. I got it the day after I found out that my cousin’s German Shepherd jumped the fence and bit the mailman–do you know he sued my cousin for nearly $10,000 and won? If not for the coverage she had purchased, my cousin would have had to pay that settlement out of her own pocket, and there’s no way she has that kind of money. As it turns out, she only had to pay a small deductible and the policy paid the rest. After all,” Nancy reasoned, “I buy pet insurance to protect me for really expensive vet bills. Remember when Stitch had to have surgery last year when she hurt her back? That was nearly five grand, but I only had to pay the deductible. I came out way ahead, even with paying premiums for a few years before I had to use the coverage.”

Some sobering statistics

“These accidents don’t just happen to other people,” said Nancy, “and they aren’t so uncommon. I read in a study that dog bites are the fifth highest reason why children are treated in emergency rooms after engaging in voluntary activities, such as playing sports, and about 1,000 people in the U.S. need to go to the emergency room every year because of receiving a bite from a dog. In fact, I myself was bit by our neighbor’s poodle when I was about 7 years old, and this was an animal that I thought I knew pretty well.”

“Okay, I’m convinced,” said Ellen, reaching for her cell phone. “I’m going to call my professional insurance agent right now. She’s been a great resource for my homeowner’s and auto policies, so I’m sure she can point me in the right direction about liability insurance for dogs, too.”

Avoiding Dog Bite Lawsuits

There are at least 4.7 million dog bites every year in the US, a figure that is unsubstantiated, being more than 20 years old, which means that it has likely gone up since then. From that total, fortunately only about 800,000 victims receive medical attention annually. The more seriously injured victims generally do not receive compensation, mostly due to the fact that the owner cannot be identified in many cases.

Those that can be held accountable for the actions of their pets will often find they are named in a dog bit lawsuit. The liability segment of the insurance industry only pays an average of 17,500 dog bite victims per year. (This, according to the Insurance Information Institute, Dog Bite Liability, May 2014.) Therefore, it is approximated that payments are made to only 2% of the victims that wind up going to see a doctor for dog bites.

The importance of insurance for dog owners

If you are sued, naturally you’re going to worry about whether or not you have bought enough insurance coverage to pay for the claim. What you need to understand is that the usual $100,000 limit found in homeowner insurance policies usually is enough for most settlements. If however, the injuries are substantial, this simply may not be enough. If that’s the case, you’ll want to have an umbrella policy or excess policy in place. Umbrella and excess policies generally provide $1 million of coverage for about $100 per year.

Keep aggressive dogs at bay

For owners of big dogs, or dogs that show signs of aggression, you’ll need to protect yourself by keeping the dog away from people, especially small children, muzzling it when it is around people, and strictly following all animal control laws (like leash laws, and anti-trespassing laws that apply to dogs and their owners).

If your dog bites someone or causes injury in other ways, you’ll likely find yourself on the receiving end of a dog bite lawsuit and subsequent claim. However, there are measures you can take before things escalate.

First off, be extremely nice and sympathetic to the dog bite victim (and the family), and show concern without necessarily accepting blame. It might also help to offer to pay for any medical services that may be required. Hopefully they’ll see this gesture as coming from someone caring and may not go forward with a claim, but make sure to have the insurance required to deal with any worst-case scenario.

When Playful Puppy Nips Turn into Biting Behavior

When you get a new puppy, it’s just the cutest ball of fur, but with teeth! Just like children, puppies often explore with their mouths–so besides toys, everything from hands, limbs, shoes, clothing, or furniture can be fair game. While it might be cute for that tiny ball of fur to gnaw on a finger, allowing such behavior to persist only sets you up for a dog bite insurance claim later on. After all, the jaws and teeth of an adult dog are much stronger and able to cause significant injury, even if the animal is merely playfully “mouthing” your hand. This type of behavior is harder to quash in older animals; for one thing, they’re simply more difficult to control due to their size, but they’re also less sensitive to humans’ reactions in the way puppies are. If you encounter a pet who tends to interact this way, chances are his human failed to teach him to prefer chew toys over fingers.

When play takes a turn for the worse

Experts say that in most cases, mouthing is considered a normal part of dog behavior. However, some pets will go from playful mouthing to more intense mouthing that precedes aggressive behavior, including a painful bite. Whether it results from fear, frustration, excitement or another emotion, it’s important to curb the behavior immediately.

Spotting a problem

It can be hard to tell the difference between playful mouthing and that which is building toward a problem, but in most cases, look for a relaxed body and face, including the muzzle, in a playful pup. In contrast, a problem may be brewing in a pet whose body appears stiff or tense; the muzzle may be wrinkled and the lips may be pulled back to reveal teeth. This is a warning sign that should be heeded and addressed.

For best results, consult a trainer who has experience in training pets to develop biting inhibition, and a gentle approach to humans. And for your own protection, consult a professional insurance agent who can provide you with information about a quality dog bite insurance policy. This policy can pay for claims resulting from your liability in the event the pet you own injures someone, whether the incident occurs while you are at home or out for a walk. Call your agent today.

Preventing Dog Bites is Key to Kid Safety

Dog bite liabilities are on the rise, and it’s a real issue for homeowners as typically many policies don’t cover expenses related to dog bites, or exclude certain breeds from their policies. Therefore, it’s key that not only as homeowners one takes the precautionary measures to help prevent dog bites, but also secures the right policy in the event of an incident.


Following are a few facts related to dog bites that may help your decision process when looking at one’s liability risks when it comes to dog bites:


Dog Bite Liability Facts


  • More than 4.5 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs.
  • More than 800,000 Americans (half of them being children) require medical attention for dog bites.
  • The most common victims of dog bites are children.
  • The second most common victims of dog bites are senior citizens.


Tips for Teaching Children How to Prevent Dog Bites


It’s important for homeowners to prevent dog bite liabilities because of the potential injury they can cause and the financial responsibility a dog owner would have in the event of an incident:


  • To avoid dog bites, training and socializing a pet is very important. Educating children on how or if they should approach a dog is also imperative to their safety.
  • It is important to discuss animals with children. Adults must always supervise them around dogs and watch closely how a child interacts with the dog to make sure they are gentle from the beginning.
  • Never approach a dog that is wandering around loose. Consider leaving the area and contacting animal control.
  • Educate a child never to tease a dog by taking their food, toys or treats.
  • Teach a child to avoid escalating the situation by yelling, running or hitting a dog.
  • A child should never pull a dog’s ears or tail or try to ride a dog.