Dog Health

Insurance For Dog Bites and Preventing a Lawsuit     

Dog bites account for more than 90% of all animal bites and approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the U.S. With more than 30,000 victims requiring reconstructive surgery, while you may be a responsible pet owner, you can’t always predict how your dog may react to another person. It is not uncommon to have an unprovoked attack, as any motion that your dog perceives as a potential threat could set an attack into motion.

A dog, for whatever reason, may become irritated and it’s up to you to recognize and avoid situations where a dog might become uncomfortable, such as being repeatedly struck in the face by a child, or any other situations that could possibly irritate the animal. In the event there is an attack, provoked or otherwise, you’re going to need the protection of insurance for dog bites.

Dog bite prevention requires safety and a little common sense

It may, as is often the case, be an unfortunate friend or family member who gets bitten. As a pet owner you need to do everything in your means to prevent an attack and reduce the possibility of a lawsuit. All dog owners have the same concerns when it comes to their pet biting or harming someone.

Just because your dog may have never bitten someone before doesn’t mean that it can’t or won’t happen. Use of the following safety tips can help to aid in preventing the occurrence of dog bites. Always put the animal on a leash whenever you take him or her for a walk. Avoid allowing children to pet the animal if you sense that it is feeling scared or nervous.

As a parent, do not allow your child to approach a stray or unfamiliar dog, especially if the owner is not present. Never approach a dog with quick motions and ask the owner if it’s okay to pet the dog prior to making contact. If a confrontation occurs, avoid screaming or running away, and avoid approaching an unfamiliar dog while it is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies. Finally, don’t leave young children or infants unsupervised with a dog.

Choosing a dog breed that is compatible with any family situation is always best. For example, aggressive dogs are never ideal in a home with small children. Dogs are social animals and therefore socializing and appropriate training will help minimize the risk of dog bites, but this isn’t an excuse for not carrying ample insurance for dog bites.

Pet Liabilities and Dog Bite Homeowner Insurance

Dog bite homeowner insurance is important to secure, particularly for owners of certain breeds known for aggressive or assertive behavior. Often genetics play a key role in this issue. But some dogs also tend to be influenced by their owner’s temperament as well, and the size of the dog can also be a determining factor in just how serious the problem can be.

The issue of dog bite liabilities is obviously one of concern. Many of the dogs involved tend to be family pets, rather than strays, and more than two-thirds of dog bites happen to people already acquainted with the dog. A majority of dog bites occur to the very young and very old, and almost half of all bites to children, due to their smallness in height, are in the facial area. Many claims made against homeowner’s insurance policies are often due to dog bites.

 

Behavior modification can help to resolve some issues

At an early age puppies develop bonds and sensitivity to those people and animals in their lives, and if a young pup is not exposed to positive interaction with dogs during this period they often grow up without the necessary skills to deal with other dogs. They also may never be comfortable with people outside of their owner if not given the proper exposure. If the socialization process is delayed until the puppy is older, the dog may never be relaxed or never become socially interactive with people or other dogs.
It’s important that any children in the household handle the dog frequently and gently and never scold or speak harshly to the pet. Holding the puppy firmly and resisting the temptation to let go of it (when it squirms to be released) can also help to minimize later aggression and dominant behavior.
As the dog gets older there may come a time when most normal dogs begin to bark at strangers and guard the family and it’s property. This is normal behavior, however some dogs may begin to show objectionable aggressive behavior. Make the dog aware that this is a problem. Obedience training can help to correct these types of issues, but dog bites are often the result of fear and uncertainty in the animal as well. Dog bite homeowner insurance is the solution when an unfortunate attack occurs.

Dog Liability Insurance for the At-Risk Owner

As a dog owner you are exposed to the possibility that your dog may inadvertently or otherwise be responsible for biting someone, as well as causing other canine-inflicted injuries. The fact is that dogs bite at least 4.5 million Americans every year, with children being the victims of some of the more serious attacks, and the annual losses exceed $1 billion annually.

Because the dog owner’s own relatives, friends and neighbors are oftentimes the most likely victims of a possible dog attack, having dog liability insurance in Florida means protecting the people who are closest to you. Why wouldn’t you want this to be the case? After all, it equates to protecting valuable relationships, as well as ensuring that loved ones, when injured, will receive the treatment they deserve.

 

Some home and renters policies may not provide enough

Since there is no law that requires homeowners and renters insurance policies to provide coverage for injuries, damages and losses inflicted by dogs, you might want to purchase a stand-alone policy. The sad fact is that, consequently, there are homeowners and renters policies that exclude injuries caused by a dog, or any animal for that matter, while other policies may exclude injuries caused by certain breeds of dog.

Some insurance companies have even expressed concerns in selling homeowners insurance to the owners of certain breeds of dogs (such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, Akitas and Chow-Chows, to name a few), which have a reputation for being a danger to others and encounters often end up with someone being bitten.

Furthermore, there are policies out there that don’t offer adequate coverage, which is why pet owners need to do research and due diligence when shopping for the proper coverage for their particular situation. Traditionally, the minimum limit for personal liability coverage has been $100,000. But a limit of $300,000 is more appropriate if your household contains, let’s say, a medium sized dog, as the higher limit is a requisite of a personal excess policy.

No dog owner should purchase a homeowner policy or renter’s policy that excludes canine-inflicted injuries, unless he or she buys a supplemental Florida dog liability insurance policy that covers them in the event that anyone is bitten by their pet.

 

Dog Bite Insurance and Obeying Leash Laws

Dog owners should not underestimate the importance of obeying leash laws in their city or state. Aside from the obvious concerns over citations and fines for not having your dog properly leashed when the animal is on public streets or in restricted areas, in Florida there are 67 counties, most of which have a dog leash law in place. In the event your dog does wander off and bites or injures a person or another animal you’re going to need dog bite insurance to help pay any costs from medical bills or lawsuits.

Why obeying leash laws is important

When in public places like parks, playgrounds, and on sidewalks it’s important for a dog owner to maintain control over a dog in any given situation. In addition, it’s also a necessity to maintain control and all safety precautions while the dog is in or near the owner’s property as well as in residential neighborhoods. It’s your responsibility to keep your pet from jumping on strangers, wandering in front of a car, and also to prevent him or her from having a surprise confrontation with another dog.

With or without a dog leash law in place owners should take all reasonable steps to ensure that the dog is not a threat to others. Unfortunately, there are instances where adults and children are attacked by dogs and may unfortunately suffer serious personal injuries. While not all incidents and injuries can be prevented, by obeying and following the local leash laws owners can help reduce the incidence of dog bite attacks. Common sense dictates that it is advisable to follow these laws for the safety and welfare of others and the community in general, and carry dog bite insurance when an unforeseen incident happens.

Insuring Man's Best Friend

Your dog is your best friend, and you would do anything to keep him or her healthy. Did you know that there are Florida dog health insurance policies available designed to help you cover expensive veterinary bills? You don’t have to avoid taking your pet to the vet anymore to save a few bucks when you invest in a plan that allows you to feel confident for the care your animal can receive.

Common Claims

Dogs are fun-loving animals, which can end up causing them health problems if owners are not careful. Some of the most common types of Florida dog health insurance claims include the following:

  • Bites
  • Cuts
  • Car accidents
  • Poison ingestion
  • Cancer
  • Ear infections

Seeking treatment for these conditions can be expensive if your animal is not insured. Managing the costs can be a significant help for your budget if you have proper coverage.

Protection for Your Furry Family Members

Most people consider their pets to be another member of the family, and you wouldn’t allow one of your children to be uninsured. Why not place the same value on the health of your dog with Florida dog health insurance. You only have to pay a low monthly premium in order to have peace of mind knowing that your dog’s health concerns won’t create a financial burden should something unfortunate and unexpected come up.

 

photo credit: Playtime (license)