Dog Bite injuries vary greatly from a common personal injury suit, where a Plaintiff must prove that there was a duty, breach, causation and damages. In a strict liability action, the duty and breach is present simply because the dog bite occurred, meaning the owner is liable for any damages caused by the dog. Often times, people are hesitant to assert their legal rights under this law because the families are friends and the thought of lawyers seems unnecessarily adversarial. However, this is often not the case, as claims against homeowner’s insurance policies for dog bites are rarely as contentious as people assume.
Types of Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage
After a dog bite injury, the collectability under a homeowners insurance policy depends on a variety of factors, but most notably, the type of policy. In general terms Homeowners insurance may pay for repairing or rebuilding your damaged home, temporary shelter if your home is uninhabitable, damage to your home’s contents and your personal belongings that are damaged or stolen . It may also cover medical expenses of injured guests, damage to someone else’s property and legal fees and court judgments if you are found to be liable . But only if a covered peril caused the loss and you did not intentionally cause the loss.
While each insurance company prepares its own contracts, most sell policies that are similar . The form number on a typical policy usually includes one of the below labels:
HO-2 & HO-4 The Broad Form
These policies list EVERY covered peril . The policy
will not pay for any peril not listed .
HO-3 The Special Form
The HO-3 is the most common homeowners policy
today . Instead of listing the perils it does cover, the
HO-3 policy lists the perils it does not cover . The
policy will pay when the building damage is caused
by any peril (subject to limitations in the policy) that
is not on the list of exclusions . The HO-3 coverage
for contents (personal property rather than the
structure) is identical to the HO-2 .
HO-4 Tenant (Renters’ Insurance) Broad Form
The HO-4 policy insures the contents of your rented
home but not the building itself . It lists every
covered peril .
HO-5 Comprehensive Form
The HO-5 covers most types of damage except
earthquakes, wars and floods .
The HO-6 policy insures your condo contents and
only the portion of the building you own (such as
the interior walls) independent of other owners .
Know what part of the building your insurance
covers and compare it to the parts covered by the
condo association . Make sure the gaps are filled .
HO-8 Market Value
The HO-8 policy insures the structure based on its
“market value .’’ If your house burns down, the policy
will pay no more than it would have sold for on the
day before the fire
Mobile Homeowners Insurance
Companies use a special policy to insure mobile
homes (with or without wheels) .These policies are
not as standardized as other home policies, so read
them carefully . Physical damage coverage for a
mobile home may differ significantly from standard
homeowners policies .
Typical Exclusions for the HO-2, -3, -4, -5 and -6 Forms
Typical exclusions include earthquake, flood, water
damage (sewer backup or basement leak), power
failure off your premises, poor home maintenance,
war, collapse, nuclear hazard, intentional acts of
an insured, and laws and ordinance enforcement
(building codes) . Be sure to review your policy’s
exclusions and limitations so that you know what is
not covered . You can usually purchase additional
coverage for most items that are excluded under
If you or a loved one have been injured by a dog bite in the State of Ohio, call Toledo Personal Injury Lawyer Dennis E. Sawan today by calling 1-866-INJURY-0 or 567-343-5662. Personal Injury Lawyer Dennis E. Sawan serves serious injury and wrongful death cases in Toledo, Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron, Dayton, Parma, Canton, Youngstown, Lorain, Hamilton, Springfield, Kettering, Elyria, Lakewood, Cuyahoga Falls, Euclid, Middletown, Mansfield, Newark, Findlay, Urbana, Chillicothe and Zanesville OH areas.