South Carolina is home to more than a million dogs. Across the country, around 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and about one in five of those requires medical attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In South Carolina, a dog owner is held liable for a bite unless the person bitten provoked the dog or trespassed on the owner’s property. Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability. Most policies provide $100,000 to $300,000 in liability coverage. Any award for damages above the policy limit must be paid by the dog owner. About one-third of homeowner's insurance policy claims are due to dog bites and attacks.
However, more and more insurance companies are starting to exclude dog bite coverage. Some policies exclude only dog bites from certain "agressive" breeds, while others exclude all breeds from coverage. As both a dog and home owner, it pays to pay attention. Dog bites can be very costly, and with no insurance coverage your assets are at risk. Dog bite claims average about $30,000. Make sure your homeowners policy gives you protection, or look for a secondary policy to fill the gap in coverage.