Insurance Report Shows Dog Bite Claims on the Rise, Again

A report that was recently released by both the Insurance Information Institute (III) and State Farm Insurance suggests that the frequency of dog bites and attacks across the United States is on the rise. The report was released in conjunction with the upcoming Dog Bite Prevention Week, which runs May 18-24 of this year.

According to a statement released with the results of the study, the number of dog bite injury claims that were reported to insurers throughout the U.S. increased by 5.5 percent in 2013 compared to the previous year.

In the study, the authors noted that the increase in the number of total claims reported could be attributed to a growth in the claiming of injuries not caused by an actual dog bite. The authors state that these could include injuries that were caused by a dog tripping, knocking down or scratching a person.

Increase in Frequency, Decrease in Value of Dog Attack Claims

The report also indicated that while the number of dog bite and attack claims increased between 2012 and 2013, the average value for each individual claim decreased approximately 6.4 percent – from $29,752 in 2012 to $27,862 in 2013.

“The average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 45 percent in the last decade (2003-2013), due to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs, which are still on the upswing,” said Loretta Worters, who is Vice President of the III, in conjunction with the release of the study.

Worters and her research team noted that California had the largest number of dog bite claims in 2013 with 1,919 at an average cost of $33,709 per claim. New York had the second largest number of reported claims in 2013 with 965, but also saw the highest average value at $43,122 paid out per claim.

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