Does Renter’s Insurance Cover Dog Bites?
Posted in Dog Bites on July 1, 2022
Dog bites regularly lead to severe injuries that require medical treatment. But who pays for a dog bite injury? Is the dog owner responsible for paying these expenses out of their own pocket? Typically, claims are made against a person’s homeowners’ insurance, but what happens if a person rents end does not own their home? Here, we want to discuss whether or not renter’s insurance will cover dog bite incidents in Tennessee.
Tennessee Dog Bite Law
Many states around the country make it an automatic strict liability claim against a dog’s owner if their dog bites somebody, so long as the victim was on public property or lawfully allowed on private property. These other states hold dog owners liable even if the dog has never previously bitten anybody of shown a propensity for aggression.
However, Tennessee has chosen to follow the “one bite rule” that is used in cases where the dog’s owner knew or should have known that the dog was likely to bite an individual. The injured victim is required to prove that the owner failed to take the necessary precautions to prevent a bite injury from occurring, including walking the dog without a leash in a public area.
The one bite rule does make it more challenging for individuals to recover compensation because they have to prove that the owner should have been aware that a bite was likely to occur.
What Does Renter’s Insurance Cover?
When a person does have a valid dog bite injury claim against a dog’s owner, there are typically various ways for the victim to recover compensation. The most common way is to file a claim against the dog owner’s homeowners’ association insurance. However, this may not be possible, especially if the dog owner does not own their home.
Many individuals do have renter’s insurance that dog bite victims can use to recover compensation. However, please understand that Tennessee does not require individuals to carry renter’s insurance like they require homeowners’ to carry homeowners’ insurance.
If you are a dog bite victim and find out that the dog owner has renter’s insurance, you should file a claim as soon as possible. Typically, renter’s insurance will cover dog bite injuries. However, there are certain dog breeds that could be excluded by a renter’s insurance policy, which means they will not cover injuries or property damage caused by that particular type of dog. We encourage you to reach out to an attorney who can file the claim with the dog owner’s renter’s insurance carrier on your behalf. They will be able to examine the policy and determine whether or not there were any excluded breeds.
If the dog owner does not have renter’s insurance or homeowners’ insurance, it may be necessary to file a civil personal injury lawsuit against the dog owner to recover compensation. This puts the case into the civil court system. If a person is successful with their lawsuit, this means that the dog owner will be responsible for paying compensation to the dog bite victim out of their personal assets.