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Dog Bite Claims Up 18% in 2016

Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners liability claim dollars paid out in 2016, costing in excess of $600 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

An analysis of homeowners insurance data by the I.I.I. found that the number of dog bite claims nationwide increased to 18,123 in 2016, compared to 15,352 in 2015 -– an 18 percent increase. The average cost per claim, however, decreased by more than 10 percent. The average cost paid out for dog bite claims was $33,230 in 2016, compared with $37,214 in 2015 and $32,072 in 2014.

The decrease in the 2016 average cost per claim could be attributed to a decrease in severity of injuries,” said Loretta Worters, a vice president with the I.I.I. “But the average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 70 percent from 2003 to 2016, due to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs.”

California continued to have the largest number of claims in the U.S. at 1,934 in 2016, an increase from 1,684 in 2015. California also had the highest claims paid out at $76 million. The state with the second highest number of claims was Florida at 1,325. The state with the highest average cost per claim was New York, at a whopping $55,671 per claim.

Source: Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), Press Release - April 6, 2017 - Dog Bite Homeowners Liability Claims Nationwide Increased 18 Percent


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