Your dog or cat is more than just a pet; it’s part of your family. At our Tampa insurance agency, we understand that it can be difficult to view your pet as a potential liability. Unfortunately, animal-related damage is a very common cause of Florida homeowner’s insurance claims. Some may be thinking…what is animal liability coverage anyways? This coverage can come into play if your pet bites another person or even just barks at someone!! That’s why animal liability coverage in Florida is an essential part of being a responsible pet owner.

Accidents happen especially when it comes to your furry friends. Did you know that most homeowner’s insurance policies either totally exclude animal liability coverage OR limit it to $25,000 per incident? But the average liability claim payout for a pet-related injury claim was $37,051 in 2017 (up 93.4% since 2003), according to data from the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm.

What’s Covered with an Animal Insurance Policy?

You may have the friendliest pet in the world but if it barks at someone that is afraid of dogs and they run away from the barking sound and trip and fall…that is an animal liability claim. Clients of our Tampa, Florida insurance agency know that this type of coverage is key to protect homeowner’s and renters for medical expenses and even legal defense in case your dog causes an injury.

These pet policies aren’t just canine liability. It can also cover a cat in the instance it scratches a visitor in the face…that too is an animal liability claim. Most claims are settled for less than $50,000 BUT if you have an exclusion on your policy for this coverage, that means you are paying to defend yourself and paying for the injuries out of your own pocket!

The animal liability policy we offer covers bodily injury and property damage to 3rd parties. Our Florida pet liability policy excludes bites to the insured or insured’s family and it excludes property damage that the insured owns/rents. Even if your dog has a bite history, Seibert Insurance can help provide you with the coverage you need.

When Should I Consider Pet Liability Insurance?

Maybe when you bought the home, you did not have any pets so you were not worried about the coverage? It is important to review your homeowner’s policy at least annually to look for things like this. If anything has changed, like you expanded the family by adding Fido to the mix, you will want to update your policy and add coverage for things like animal liability.

A New Breed of Pet Insurance

Dog bite insurance and animal liability insurance in Florida is crucial for any responsible pet owner in securing yourself from liability should your dog bite someone, cat scratch, or otherwise cause harm or injury. Don’t’ assume your policy covers these types of accidents! Check with your homeowners’ insurance agent to find out what coverage you may already have for canine and/or animal liability.

Protect yourself with a policy today available through Seibert Insurance Agency where we treat you like a person (or in this case pet) not just a policy.

Great question! The answer is “it depends”. It used to be cut and dry, if you had a ticket it was X% increase and if you had an accident it was Z% increase on your Florida car insurance. Nowadays, there are thousands of factors that go into the rate of insurance. If you have an accident with a small payout, that is looked at more favorably than if you have an accident with a large payout. If the driver that has the ticket or accident is under the age of 25, they will pay more for their insurance come renewal than someone that has the same profile that is older. If you have a not-at-fault accident combined with a ticket and an at-fault accident, it will be harder for you to find coverage than someone with a similar profile but without that not-at-fault accident.

Statistically, if you have a ticket, an at-fault accident or a not-at-fault accident, you are more likely to get into an accident than someone with a squeaky-clean driving record. Because you are more likely to get into an accident, the car insurance company will charge you more.

Other factors that go into your cost of auto insurance…your insurance score (similar to a credit score), the address where the vehicle is parked, the distance to/from work, age of drivers, how many cars to drivers ratio, payment history, type of car you have and many more factors…Our team of experienced Florida insurance agents will help you find the most affordable car insurance that meets your specific coverage needs.

Many times if you have just had a ticket or accident, the best bet is to sit tight until renewal and see what happens to the renewal rate. If it skyrockets, that may be the time to shop the insurance. Sometimes insurance companies do not pick up on a ticket. Even though, motor vehicle reports (MVR) also known as your driving record, help car insurance companies determine how to set rates, it is costly to run a MVR so some carriers don’t run them. If that is the case and the carrier does not find out about your ticket, it may be best to stay with that same carrier for another year or so vs shopping at renewal. Your best bet is to use an Independent Agent that represents multiple carriers they can do the shopping for you.

Curious to learn more about how much an accident or speeding ticket can impact your Florida car insurance? Contact the team of Independent Florida insurance agents at Seibert Insurance Agency near Tampa!