This week marks Dog Bite Prevention Week. With recent research showing that dog bite claims are on the rise across the country, awareness is needed now more than ever.
An analysis of homeowners insurance data by the Insurance Information Institute found that the number of dog bite claims nationwide increased 5.5 percent in 2013. Children receive a large number of those bites, some of which cause permanent disfigurement or even death.
A claim alleging injury for a dog bite is typically filed with a person’s homeowners or renters insurance company. Dog bite claims comprise approximately one-third of homeowners liability claims–and they cost an average of $27,862.
“The average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 45 percent between 2003 and 2013,” said Loretta Worters, vice president with the Insurance Information Institute. “The increase is due to higher medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs, which are still on the upswing.”
Dog owners bear the main responsibility for ensuring their dogs do not harm others. Check out these posts to learn what you can do to keep yourself and others safe.
- Why dogs bite and what to do if you’re about to get bitten: There are many reasons why dogs bite. In this post, learn the most common reasons–and how you should react if you think a dog is about to bite you.
- Insurance and dog bites: Insurance often plays a role in dog bit incidents. This post explains how liability works and how insurance responds.