by Angela Cavallari Walker 

I am am not just a dog lover but I am a proud mom to a pug named JJ. He is not just my pet but really is like another member of our family. However, he is still an animal and like most pets, there is a sense of unpredictability. It’s not as if your pooch can tell a guest in your home to step away from his bowl or warn you that his leash might get tangled under someone’s feet—causing them to take a spill!

And even the most harmless of pets that wouldn’t harm a fly still comes with the increased risk of liability. In today’s blog, we are going to talk about your Florida homeowners’ insurance policy and pets. 

What is animal liability and do I need to add it to my Florida home insurance policy? 

Here’s the bad news Florida homeowners. The Sunshine State ranks second in the United States for dog bites and insurance companies shelled out a WHOPPING $56 million bucks in animal liability claims! In fact, the average…average claim hovered around the $44,000 mark. This has prompted many insurers to exclude coverage and you will be required to add it to your policy. Now for the good news. This additional coverage (if offered) will only set you back anywhere from $25-$50 annually. 

Exclusions and coverage of your animal liability on your Florida homeowners’ insurance policy. 

If your dog has a history of biting, you might be denied coverage. This is something that you should let your Florida insurance agent know upfront. This is not a deal-breaker just let your agent know. Another exclusion might be the breed of your dog. In Florida, there are 12 breeds that will absolutely not be covered those include: pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers, Doberman pinschers, rottweilers, German shepherds, chows, great Danes, Presa Canarios, Akitas, Alaskan malamutes, and wolf-hybrids. 

Tips on lowering your risk of dog bite incidents

Always spay or neuter your dog to reduce the likelihood of aggressive behavior. Be sure to socialize your pooch as soon as possible around other dogs and humans alike. 

Got more questions? Reach out to Mitchell Insurance for answers!