New information from the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm reveals that dog bite claims continued to rise in 2013. The number of bites are up since 2012, but the amount of insurance payouts since last year are down – but only slightly. In the last decade, claims, value of claims and average cost per claim are all up.
In 2013, the value of insurance claims related to dog bites totaled $483.7 million! That’s nearly a half billion dollars. The number of claims was up 5.5 percent with a total of 17,359 claims. Those are just reported claims. That’s a lot of biting going on -- some of these are due to irresponsible owners not taking time to properly socialize and train their dogs, while others are likely due to something that happened in the moment and which was likely a one-time incidence; most of those situations, however, were likely avoidable.
Before you think it’s just nips and torn pants that qualify for those bite incidences, consider that the average claim was for $27,862 – it doesn’t take much to rack up a hospital bill with a visit to the emergency room.