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 to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm.
In conjunction with National Dog Bite Prevention Week Is April 8-14, the I.I.I. conducted an analysis of homeowners insurance data provided by State Farm and found that the number of dog bite claims nationwide increased to 18,522 in 2017, compared to 18,122 in 2016 – a 2.2 percent increase. The average cost per claim increased by 11.5 percent. The average cost paid out for dog bite claims was $37,051 in 2017, compared with $33,230 in 2016.
California, Florida and Pennsylvania lead the nation in number of report dog bite claims.
“The increase in the 2017 average cost per claim could be attributed to an increase in severity of injuries,” said Kristin Palmer, chief communications officer with the I.I.I. “But the average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 90 percent from 2003 to 2017, due to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs.”
Estimated Number and Cost of Dog Bite Claims (And Other Dog-Related Injuries*), 2003-2017
California continued to have the largest number of claims in the U.S. at 2,228 in 2017, an increase from 1,934 in 2016. California also had the highest value of claims in 2017 at $90.4 million. The state with the second highest number of claims last year was Florida at 1,345. The state with the highest average cost per claim was Florida, at $44,700 per claim in 2017.