Dog Bites & Insurance

It’s true that dogs are a “man’s” (or woman’s) best friend, but it’s also true that sometimes accidents happen. Dog bites and dog-related injuries now account for one-third of all homeowners liability claim dollars. According to the Insurance Information Institute, this added up to more than $570 million dollars in 2015. Many dog bites claims are caused by dogs knocking down children, cyclists, and the elderly. The large increase in U.S. Post Office worker attacks may also help explain this highly increasing trend in costs.

Even though the number of dog bite claims went down by about 7% this year, the average cost per claim went up by 16%. In 2015, the average was $37,214 per claim compared to $32,072 in 2014 and $27,862 in 2013. Overall, the average cost per claim has gone up by an astonishing 94% from 2003 to 2015. 

In 2015, California had the largest number of claims at 1,684 with Illinois in second place at 931. Interestingly, Arizona had the ninth highest number of claims but the highest average cost with some rising up to $56,654.