Ohio’s New Dog Laws In Effect this Week

May 25, 2012

Tomorrow is the last day of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, but in Ohio it’s also the week when a new “vicious dog” law goes into force.

Ohio Sub. HB 14 – which went into effect three days ago – means that pit bulls will no longer be considered vicious only because of their breed, and mandatory liability insurance for dog owners has been eliminated. Owners of dogs deemed vicious because of their actions under prior law (but not breed) will still be required to carry at least $100,000 in liability coverage.

The new law also clarifies the definition of a “nuisance dog” and changes the established definitions of both “dangerous” and “vicious” dogs, as well as altering the requirements for both on and off-premises requirements.

According to an annual dog bit claims report issued by State Farm Insurance, Ohio had the fourth-highest number of dog bite claims in 2011, and third in 2010.

Data from the Insurance Information Institute says that dog bites account for more than a third of all homeowners insurance liability claims paid in 2011.