Friday, July 1, 2022

Dog Bites

Florida Homeowners Insurance Dog BitesMan’s best friend has served as a loyal companion throughout history. While most dogs are trained or well behaved, there are those who behave aggressively. When a dog is fearful, frustrated, threatened or in pain, it is common that they respond with hostility and can inflict serious harm.

“In Florida, if your dog bites someone even if it is a first time occurrence, the owner is held liable,” reports Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance. According to American Veterinary Medical Association, dog bites claims accounted for one-third of all homeowners’ liability insurance claims. Over $28,000 was the average payment by insurers for dog bite claims in 2013.

Homeowners insurance and renter’s insurance policies generally cover dog bite liability legal expenses,” says Buck. Each insurer is responsible for checking into their liability limits. The dog owner is responsible for damages that exceed claim limits.

Millions of people are bit by a dog every year. Half of the victims are children, claims the National Institutes of Health. Common victims of dog bites include children, adult males and dog owners. An animal attack can cause mental as well as physical injury. Some of those injuries include severe bruising and contusions, lacerations and severe scratching, scarring and rabies. Some suffer broken bones from falls in an attempt flee from an animal attack.

While certain breeds tend to bite more than others, all dogs are capable of biting. Statistically the following are considered the most dangerous dog breeds.

  • Rottweiler– These guard and herding dogs are aggressive and strong. They are considered the most deadly dog breed. Rottweiler’s usually attack their victims in the head and neck region.
  • American Pit Bull Terrier– These dogs have an aggressive temperament and strength. Their attacks usually catch victims by surprise and their hold and shake bite style, can be extremely damaging.
  • German Shepherd– Originally bred as working dogs, they are intelligent dogs often used by police and military.
  • Doberman Pinscher – A German breed, they look intimidating keeping owners safe from would be trespassers. They are known not only to bite humans but one another as well.
  • Wolf-Dog Hybrid– A wolf is a wild animal. A survivor by nature, aggressive and unpredictable
  • Bullmastiff– A bullmastiff is a very large dog that can be dangerous around small children. Solid and powerfully built, they can get confused or agitated if kids are rough housing.
  • Cane Corso-An Italian hunting companion known as a fetch dog. Visitors can put this muscular dog on edge; they are known to react even if unprovoked.
  • Great Dane-Known as one of the world’s tallest breeds, these “gentle giants” are friendly but can become skittish and fearful, trampling a small child. They do not like unfamiliar environments.
  • Tosa Inu-This rare Japanese breed was traditionally raised as a fighter. They are banned in Hong Kong and Dublin and against the law to breed in the U.K. and Australia. The tosa inu has a powerful jaw and often weighs over 130 pounds.
  • American Bandogge-An intensely muscular dog with an aggressive temperament, owners must remain dominant over this type of dog.

While responsible pet ownership is encouraged, Florida has no breed specific regulations.

A study published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association argues the focus should not be on the breed, but the way a dog is raised. They feel many witnesses misidentify the breed of dog that attacks making that information unreliable. Their study found that dogs that bite can commonly be found in at least one of the four categories: not vaccinated, not licensed, male dogs that have not been nurtured and dogs that have been chained or tied up.

Whether you own or rent your home, insurance should be a priority to protect your family and belongings. GreatFlorida Insurance works with reputable insurance companies to provide dependable homeowners insurance and renters insurance at affordable prices. For more information go online to or call us today.


Ellsworth Buck
Since 2003, Ellsworth has served as Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, a network of independent, franchised insurance agents located throughout Florida. During his tenure he has helped the franchise grow to more than 100 independent locations state wide. He is a 20+ year veteran of the Florida Insurance industry and is a graduate West Virginia University, earning his M.B.A in 1984. He lives with his wife in Stuart, Florida. For more information visit:

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