Jul 26, 2019
While some insurance carriers will not insure homeowners who own certain breeds of dogs that may be considered dangerous, others will be decide on a case-by-case basis. These types of cases look at the individual dog's history and if they have injured anyone in the past. Recently, the Insurance Information Institute revealed that in 2018, insurers paid out $675 million in liability claims due to dog bites and dog-related injuries.
Florida is a “strict liability” state, which means an owner can be held liable for a dog bite, even if they were not aware of that the pet was aggressive prior to interaction. Also, Florida law does not require victims to prove their injuries were a result of an owner's negligence.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide animal liability coverage as an endorsement on the policy and the amounts offered can vary significantly. If a claim exceeds these limits, then the owner is responsible for all damages caused by the dog including all legal fees. Certain insurance carriers require pet owners to sign liability waivers for injuries related to dogs.
At the end of the day, it is up to the pet owner to handle their dog responsibly. The owner should consider professional training, positive social interactions, dog breed, and spaying/neutering them to reduce the chance of an injury to yourself or others.