Beebe and O'Neil

Does homeowners' insurance pay for dog bite injuries?

You may have heard that victims of dog bites can receive compensation from the pet owner's homeowners' insurance policy. That's true. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the cost of dog bite claims in 2013 was $483 million. What's more, those cases made up more than 33 percent of all claims.

On average, the amount of liability coverage a policy carries is between $100,000 and $300,000, the III reports. That can cover items such as surgeries, hospitalization and prescriptions. However, if the animal has already been deemed "dangerous" or has a history of attacks, the insurance provider will likely reject a claim. Further, some providers refuse to cover certain breeds of dogs that have been linked to violence, such as pit bulls and Rottweilers.

It is important to note that while insurance policies will typically cover medical expenses you incur after a bite, they will not cover other damages. For example, you may have difficulty obtaining compensation for the cost of the time you missed from work. Additionally, insurance providers do not account for the emotional trauma you may incur as a result of the attack.

Experts also point out that if you are attacked somewhere other than the homeowner's property, the amount of coverage provided may be reduced or eliminated. Therefore, if you are walking by someone's vehicle and get bitten by a dog, the owner's homeowners' insurance policy may not cover the incident, but his or her automobile insurance policy might.

No matter the situation, you might want to consider filing a lawsuit against the pet owner in order to secure compensation for all the damages you suffer. According to the Connecticut statute of limitations, you have two years from the date of the injury to file a dog bite lawsuit.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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