Have you had a bite today?

Dog bites accounted for 1/3 of all homeowners insurance claims paid in 2014. The total amount paid in 2014 was a whopping $530 million. (1) In 2017, the amount grew to $686 million.(2) However, with forest fires and hurricanes, the percentage of total claims was less. There were 18.522 insurance claims for dog bites in 2017. The two leading states for dog bite claims are California and Florida.

Apparently nothing was paid for a man biting a dog. Sorry, old Vaudeville joke.

There are dog bite laws and negligence laws that impose liability on dog owners.

Claims represent only a small fraction of dog bites. According to the CDC, there are roughly 4.5 million dog bites each year in the US. That’s one in every 72 people getting bitten.

Amusingly, the dog at the top of the list for biting is the Chihuahua.(3)

If you own a home and you wonder why your insurance rates are as high as they are, well, do you own a dog? How much effort have you put into training that dog?

Estimated Number And Cost Of Dog Bite Claims Nationwide, 2003-2017 (1)

Year Value of claims ($ millions) Number of claims Average cost per claim
2003 $324.2 16,919 $19,162
2004 318.9 15,630 20,406
2005 321.1 14,295 22,464
2006 322.4 14,661 21,987
2007 356.2 14,531 24,511
2008 387.0 15,823 24,461
2009 412.0 16,586 24,840
2010 412.6 15,770 26,166
2011 490.8 16,695 29,396
2012 489.7 16,459 29,752
2013 483.7 17,359 27,862
2014 530.8 16,550 32,072
2015 571.3 15,352 37,214
2016 602.2 18,123 33,230
2017 686.3 18,522 37,051
Percent change, 2016-2017 14.0% 2.2% 11.5%
Percent change, 2003-2017 111.7% 9.5% 93.4%

Sources:

  1. https://www.iii.org/press-release/dog-bites-accounted-for-more-than-one-third-of-all-homeowners-liability-pay-outs-last-year-as-cost-per-claim-soars-051315
  2. https://www.iii.org/article/spotlight-on-dog-bite-liability
  3. https://www.caninejournal.com/dog-bite-statistics/

 

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