Florida Ranks #1 in Dog Bite Incidents in the U.S.

July 13, 2015

Florida is a strict liability state regarding dog bites. This means that a dog owner can be liable if their dog bites a person who is in a public place or lawfully on the owner’s premises.  The dog owner can be held accountable for their dog’s actions regardless of intent or fault.  The owner may be held liable even if there was no prior knowledge or warning of the dog’s behavior. The injured person does not have to prove that a lack of reasonable care caused the bite.

If you own a dog and you own a home, you should contact your homeowner’s insurance company and review your policy to see if you are covered if your dog bites someone. Many homeowners’ policies have an exclusion for dog bites, typically called an animal exclusion. This exclusion may mean that you do not have insurance to cover you if your dog bites someone.  If your homeowner’s policy does contain an exclusion, ask your agent or representative about purchasing or adding a rider to your policy to ensure you are covered if your dog bites someone.