Dog Bite Claims Nationwide Increased 2.2 Percent; California, Florida And Pennsylvania Lead Nation In Number of Claims

National Dog Bite Prevention Week® Is April 8-14

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York Press Office: (212) 346-5500; media@iii.org

NEW YORK, April 5, 2018 — 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®, the largest writer of homeowners insurance in the United States.

An analysis of homeowners insurance data by the I.I.I. 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.

“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

 

Year Value of Claims
($ millions)
Number of Claims Average Cost
Per Claim
2003 $324.2 16,919 $19,162
2004 318.9 15,630 20,406
2005 321.1 14,295 22,464
2006 322.4 14,661 21,987
2007 356.2 14,531 24,511
2008 387.0 15,823 24,461
2009 412.0 16,586 24,840
2010 412.6 15,770 26,166
2011 490.8 16,695 29,396
2012 489.7 16,459 29,752
2013 483.7 17,359 27,862
2014 530.8 16,550 32,072
2015 571.3 15,352 37,214
2016 602.2 18,123 33,230
2017 686.3 18,522 37,051
% change, 2016-2017 14.0% 2.2% 11.5%
% change, 2003-2017 111.7% 9.5% 93.4%

Source: Insurance Information Institute, State Farm®.

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.

Estimated Number and Cost of Dog Bite Claims (And Other Dog-Related Injuries*), 2017 State Results

 

Rank State Number of Claims Average Cost Per Claim Value of Claims
($ millions)
1 CA 2,228 $40,563 $90.4
2 FL 1,345 44,700 60.1
3 PA 1,002 26,486 26.5
4 NY 957 43,479 41.6
5 OH 932 24,795 23.1
6 TX 929 35,562 33
7 IL 901 36,844 33.2
8 MI 734 38,798 28.5
9 NJ 686 43,652 29.9
10 MN 486 29,873 14.5
  Top 10 10,200 37,346 380.9
  Other 8,322 36,690 305.3
  Total United States 18,522 37,051 $686.3

Source: Insurance Information Institute, State Farm®.

For more state specific information, go to the I.I.I.’s interactive map.  

Be A Responsible Dog Owner

National Dog Bite Prevention Week® (April 8-14, 2018), is an annual event designed to provide consumers with information on how to be responsible pet owners while increasing awareness of a serious public health issue. 

Even dogs that are normally docile may bite when they are frightened or when defending their puppies, owners or food. However, the best way to protect yourself is to prevent your dog from biting anyone in the first place. The most dangerous dogs are those that fall victim to human shortcomings such as poor training, irresponsible ownership and breeding practices that foster viciousness.

For dog bite prevention tips, click here or join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #preventdogbites.

RELATED LINKS

The following organizations are committed to educating Americans about dog bite prevention:

American Humane

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

United States Postal Service (USPS)

Victoria Stilwell Foundation

The I.I.I. has a full library of educational videos on its You Tube Channel.

THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.

Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-5500; www.iii.org

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