Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2012, costing more than $489 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm, the largest writer of homeowners insurance in the United States.
An analysis of homeowners insurance data by the I.I.I. found that while the number of claims fell by 1.4 percent in 2012—the first decline since 2010—the costs of settling dog bite claims continued to rise, by 1.2 percent, last year. The average cost paid out for dog bite claims was $29,752 in 2012 compared with $29,396 in 2011. The decline in the number of claims and increase in claim costs essentially offset one another so that total costs associated with dog bite claims in 2012 were virtually unchanged—down a mere 0.2 percent in 2012.
ESTIMATED NUMBER AND COST OF DOG BITE CLAIMS, 2003-2012
|Year||Value of claims
|Number of claims||Average cost
|Percent change, 2011-2012||-0.2%||-1.4%||1.2%|
|Percent change, 2003-2012||51.4%||-1.6%||55.3%|
While a decrease in dog bite claims is good news, the rise in claims costs by even a small amount suggests that medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs are still on the upswing, according to the I.I.I.
Source: Insurance Information Institute, State Farm.
Was this article valuable?
Here are more articles you may enjoy.