05.02.17

What Type Of Insurance Do You Need For Your Dog Breed?

Posted in Dog Bite Injury, Negligence at 10:33 am by kevin

There is no debating the fact that dog breeds all have their own set of personality traits. With breeds selected for specific reasons, whether you have a purebred or a mutt, your dog might be someone who loves you – but that doesn’t always mean that they love everyone.

There are some dog breeds that were created to be man’s best friend, like the Labrador retriever, and they have very little risk of biting someone. Then there are other breeds, like huskies and pit bulls, who are known to be a bit more aggressive, territorial and protective.

You can’t really blame a dog when they bite someone if they were protecting the house, but that doesn’t mean that you might not be liable to pay for the dog bite. There are specific things that you need to do to limit your liability for dog bites. Not only could a bite end up costing you a whole lot, but you might lose your beloved dog if you aren’t careful. Each state has specific dog bite laws in place; knowing your state’s law can help you to avoid disaster.

According to recent studies, more than one-third of all homeowners’ claims made are related to dog bites. That costs the insurance industry more than $570 million a year. The average cost of a dog-bite claim is somewhere around $37,000 dollars, and it continues to increase every year. In fact, the amount awarded by insurance companies has risen over 90% in just the past 15 years.

Although not many homeowners give it much thought, prevention is the best way to ensure that you aren’t left with a costly lawsuit that jeopardizes your home and your dog. More than 60% of all dog-bite incidents happen on the owner’s premises, and in over 70% of those cases, the victim is either a family member or family friend.

Some breeds are more dangerous than others, but dogs are often a family member to most people, and it can be difficult for dog owners to see potential threat. No matter how well-trained dogs are, there are times when certain breeds’ instincts just take over. Some people think that certain dogs just get a bad “rap,” but the truth is that there are five breeds of dogs that are responsible for over 280 deaths in the past four decades.

The five top most dangerous dogs to own (regarding property liability) are:

  • Pit bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • German shepherds
  • Huskies
  • Malamutes

Although they are not solely responsible for all the dog bites that end in fatalities, the highest likelihood of bites are from pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds, and huskies.

Each state has different dog-bite liability laws. There are specific types of dog owner liability clauses.

Strict liability for dog bites: In strict liability states, the dog owner is held strictly liable for any property damage or injury that is caused by their dog, even if the dog was provoked. There are, however, instances where if the dog was being provoked, the owner is no longer held liable.

One-bite rule: Currently there are sixteen states that don’t have any dog-bite statutes and have no consequences for an owner’s whose dog bit or injured someone. If it is the first time the dog has bitten someone, then often the injured person has no recourse. Unless the animal has demonstrated prior evidence of being vicious or dangerous to people, then the owner is presumed to be not liable. However, if the dog bites someone again then the liability is automatically on the owner.

Negligence laws: Some states use the clause of a person being unreasonably careless in training and controlling a dog. The child dog bite attorney must prove that the dog owner didn’t reasonably control their dog, thus there was an injury and the injury was directly related to the dog owner not taking reasonable care to ensure the safety of the injured person.

If you own a dog, you might think they are wonderful, and they might very well be. That doesn’t mean, however, that they won’t bite someone if they feel threatened. To make sure that you are covered if your dog bites someone, it is important to read through your homeowner’s policy to see if you need any special or additional coverage. Being safe is always better than being sorry. If you aren’t insured, you could stand to lose a lot more than just your best friend.