Your dog may be docile and friendly when around familiar guests, however, they may act out if they feel frightened or threatened. Some docile dogs will bite an unfamiliar guest when defending their owner, food, or puppies. You may think dog bites are uncommon, yet they account for more than one-third of all homeowners’ insurance liability claims. Homeowners’ insurance liability claims related to dog bites account for about $480 million in a given year. The average cost per claim related to a dog bite increased more than 45% from 2003 to 2013 given the increase in medical costs, size of settlements, judgments, and jury awards given to plaintiffs.
Being a responsible pet owner is the only way to prevent dog bite claims from affecting your life. Most dogs involved in dog bite claims can blame their owners for lack of training, irresponsible ownership and vicious breeding practices. Compiled is a list of the top 10 states for dog bites claims based on numbers from 2013.
10. Wisconsin had 449 dog bite claims with an average of $31,629 per claim.
9. Arizona had 488 claims in 2013 with an average cost of $27,556 per claim.
8. Indiana had an average cost of $25,502 per dog bite claim with 503 claims made in 2013.
7. Texas had 775 dog bite claims averaging at $19,339 per claim.
6. Michigan had 866 claims in 2013 averaging at $24,700 per claim.
5. Pennsylvania’s dog bite claims average at about $29,078 per claim with 909 in the year 2013.
4. Illinois had 914 dog bite claims averaging at $28,941 per claim.
3. Ohio’s dog bite claims average at $18,853 per claim with 948 claims made in 2013.
2. New York had 965 claims made in 2013 averaging at $43,122 per claim.
1. California had 1,919 dog bite claims averaging at $33,709 per claim.
As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to properly train your dog and avoid any unsafe situations. Take these tips into consideration to prevent a dog bite claim:
- Before getting a dog, consult with a veterinarian about which breed would best suit the needs of your household and neighborhood. Spend time with the dog before inviting it to be a part of the family.
- Be cautious when introducing your new dog to young children and watch for any danger cues.
- Socialize your dog with other people and animals regularly.
- Avoid situations that may make your dog feel out of its comfort zone.
Mike Leonard Insurance Agency is available to help you determine the appropriate homeowners insurance coverage based on your unique needs for your Carrollton home. Contact us today to discuss how your homeowners insurance premium would be affected by a dog bite claim.