Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims paid out in 2009, costing $412 million and up 6.4 percent from 2008, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). More than 4.7 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs annually, and nearly 900,000 of those, half of them children, require medical care, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With more than 50 percent of bites occurring on the dog owner’s property, the issue is a major source of concern for insurers. Increased claims is one factor making homeowners policies unprofitable with premium rate increases likely in the next 12 months.
Are you liable for your dog? In many states, the dog owner is held automatically liable for any injury or property damage the dog causes, even without provocation. For more information on how to protect yourself and your assets, download the entire article.