Being a pet owner can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it’s important to train your animals and protect yourself financially should anything go wrong. In a somewhat astounding report from the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm, it was revealed that dog bites and dog-related injuries accounted for a third of all homeowners liability claim dollars that were paid out in the United States last year.
An analysis by I.I.I. found that the number of reported dog bites increased by 2.2% year over year. In 2017 there were 18,522 reported dog bites, up from 18,122 in 2016. While that is not a significant enough increase to be alarming, the cost per claim increased by a substantial amount. In 2017, the average payout per dog bite claim was $37,051 in 2017, up 11.5% from the $33,230 in 2016.
Why was there such a large increase in payout? Kristin Palmer the chief communications officer with the I.I.I. spoke with the Insurance Journal about this saying that “The increase in the 2017 average cost per claim could be attributed to an increase in severity of injuries…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.”.
In total, $700 million were paid out by insurers for dog bites and dog-related injuries during 2017. This does not mean that there is an epidemic of violent dogs out there, but it should serve as an effective incentive if you are a dog owner to get the proper insurance coverage!
To learn more about your current policy, or to inquire about getting a new one we encourage you to reach out to the staff at TGS Insurance. They are knowledgeable about this space and always willing to help! Visit www.tgsinsurance.com to learn more.