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News that bites: Dog-bite claims nationwide are up

Posted On: Apr. 6, 2018 10:32 AM CST

News that bites: Dog-bite claims nationwide are up

Dog-bite claims in homeowner insurance policies increased 2.2%, according to new data released Thursday by the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm Insurance Co.

Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners liability claim dollars paid out in 2017, costing almost $700 million, according a statement released Thursday that coincides with the eve of National Dog Bite Prevention Week: April 8-14.

An analysis of homeowners insurance data by the institute found that the number of dog-bite claims nationwide increased to 18,522 in 2017, compared with 18,122 in 2016, representing a 2.2% increase. The average cost per claim increased by 11.5%, with the average cost paid out for dog-bite claim being $37,051 in 2017, compared with $33,230 in 2016, according to the statement.

California, Florida And Pennsylvania lead nation in the number of claims, according to the statement.

“The increase in the 2017 average cost per claim could be attributed to an increase in severity of injuries,” an institute spokeswoman said in the statement. “But the average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 90% from 2003 to 2017, due to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs.”