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Do you know if your renter’s insurance covers dog bites?

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2023 | Dog Bites

Dog bites are among the most damaging injuries Florida residents can face. Even if the injury is mild and temporary and allows for a quick recovery, victims can still develop a phobia. In some cases, the dog owner’s renter’s insurance may be able to compensate the victim.

Renter’s insurance and dog bites

Renter’s insurance is available to pay for damages incurred from a disaster – such as a fire, hurricane or water damage – that strikes your home. It can also cover the costs of theft and pays for stolen or damaged belongings. However, many people don’t realize that renter’s insurance can also cover liability in the event that their pet bites someone visiting them.

In Florida, due to strict liability laws, a person is liable when their dog bites someone even once. Unlike the one-bite law, this means that even if the pet has always been friendly and never bitten anyone, the owner is automatically liable for any harm their dog causes. Renter’s insurance may cover the costs of dog bite injuries.

Understanding whether insurance coverage applies

It’s crucial for renters to check their insurance policies to see whether they cover dog bites. Only certain breeds are covered and only some types of renter’s insurance cover the damages from dog bites. Typically, it only applies to larger dog breeds known to be aggressive such as boxers, Dobermans, German shepherds, mastiffs, pit bulls and Rottweilers.

If the person has a smaller breed such as a chihuahua, Jack Russell terrier or pug, their renter’s insurance may not cover dog bites. In that situation, if someone is injured by the dog, they can file a personal injury claim directly against the owner to recover compensation for their medical expenses and other damages.