Dog bite insurance settlements account for more than one-third of homeowner’s insurance claims and have more claims filed than any other incident homeowners face. According to the latest statics, more than one billion dollars is paid out every year in dog bite insurance compensation, with a bite occurring every 76 seconds. Because of the prevalence of claims and the huge expenses that accrue, it’s important to check your homeowners insurance policy for dog bite coverage before you have an issue, so you can be sure you have adequate coverage in the event you need it.
Many Companies Will Not Cover “Dangerous” Breeds
Although there is a lot of argument nowadays about whether certain breeds are truly dangerous or if people are to blame for certain breeds having higher attack rates, we do know that some breeds account for a disproportionate number of attacks. This has caused many cities to enact breed-specific legislation and has also resulted in insurance companies adding disclaimers that they will not provide coverage for incidents involving certain breeds. Some companies will not even insure you if you have one of the “dangerous” breeds. Your policy may differ, so it’s important to look for these kinds of stipulations. The following breeds and mixes of them, are among those most often excluded by policies:
- Alaskan Malamutes
- Cane Corsos
- Dogo Argentinos
- Fila Brasileiros
- German Shepherds
- Pit bulls
- Presa Canarios
- Siberian Huskies
- Staffordshire Terriers
- Wolf breeds
Every Plan Has a Different Level of Coverage
It’s fairly common for a homeowner’s insurance policy for dog bites to cap the total amount of coverage off at $100,000, but some offer a bit more and you can purchase better coverage as well. This is enough to cover average dog bite insurance settlements, as the typical settlement is under $29,000. However, a whopping 27,000 people have to undergo plastic surgery every year as a result of their injuries and around 30 people lose their lives. The dog bite insurance compensation alone on a typical policy will not even come close to covering the medical bills in these situations. If your pet attacks someone and their injuries are severe, or they do not survive their injuries, a court may award the victim much more. In Philadelphia, a person with minor injuries is only entitled to coverage for their medical bills, but when the injuries are severe, they can collect reparations for their time away from work, pain and suffering, property damage, future medical bills, and for any long-term limitations or disfigurement they have as a result of the incident as well.
It’s Important to Have Adequate Coverage
Because typical dog bite insurance settlements are often not enough to cover all the expenses involved in a typical court-awarded settlement, and some breeds may not be covered at all, it’s important to make sure you purchase a policy that will cover the expenses if someone is seriously hurt by your pet. Though rare, courts have offered the survivors of victims more than one million dollars, and what the insurance company does not cover, the animal’s owner must.
Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer
At Philadelphia Dog Bite Lawyer, we offer information for dog bite victims, as well as contact information for attorneys who specialize in helping victims receive fair dog bite insurance settlements or compensation directly from the animal’s owner when insurance does not cover the damage caused. If you are an animal owner, please check your policy and be sure you are protected if your dog bites someone. If you or your child has been hurt by someone’s pet and you need help navigating the system and obtaining fair compensation, please contact one or more of the attorneys featured on this site for a free consultation today.