State Farm® Paid Record $118 Million for Dog-Related Injury Claims in 2015
Insurer Joins Victoria Stilwell and National Dog Bite Prevention Coalition to Reduce Dog Bites
Bloomington, Ill (May 11, 2016) — One of the most traumatizing accidents that can happen to anyone is being bitten or injured by man's best friend. Dog-related injuries result in physical and emotional scars to the victim. For the dog, it can result in abandonment or euthanasia. Last year State Farm paid a record $118 million as a result of 3,100 dog-related injury claims. Over the past decade, the insurer has paid nearly $1 billion for claims resulting from accidents involving a dog. While the number of dog-related injury claims paid by State Farm decreased 9.6% between 2014 and 2015, the amount paid for dog-related injury claims by State Farm increased 3.4%.
While an overwhelming majority of interactions with dogs don't result in injury, most dog bites could be prevented by practicing responsible pet ownership. National Dog Bite Prevention Week®, led by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), is May 15-21, 2016. State Farm and members of the National Dog Bite Prevention Coalition have joined forces to educate adults and children about ways to reduce dog-related injuries.
State Farm: Top 10 States for Dog-Related Injury Claims in 2015
|State||Number of Dog-Related Injury Claims||Amount Paid for Dog-Related Injury Claims|
|1. California||383 claims||$18.3 million|
|2. Illinois||338 claims||$11.2 million|
|3. Texas||165 claims||$4.9 million|
|4. Pennsylvania||161 claims||$4.8 million|
|5. Ohio||149 claims||$4.8 million|
|6. New York||147 claims||$6.2 million|
|7. Michigan||126 claims||$3.7 million|
|8. Georgia||114 claims||$4.2 million|
|9. Indiana||110 claims||$4.2 million|
|10. Minnesota||101 claims||$3.6 million|
Source: State Farm - Homeowner, Renter, Farm & Ranch, and Commercial property claims
State Farm does not ask what breed of dog is owned when writing homeowner or renters insurance. Under the right circumstances, any dog might bite, regardless of breed. That is why the insurer works closely with internationally renowned dog trainer Victoria Stilwell to focus on educating individuals about responsible dog ownership and safely interacting with dogs.
"Educating the general public about dog bite prevention is more vital than ever", says Stilwell. "As a dog behavior expert and someone who also understands the pain and trauma of a serious bite, I fully support the need to raise awareness and stop these needless incidents from occurring."
Children make up more than more than 50% of all dog bite victims. The elderly and home service people like mail carriers are also high on the list of frequent dog bite victims. The US Postal Service reported that 6,500 postal carriers were attacked or bitten by dogs in 2015. That is an increase of nearly 14% compared to reported attacks in 2014. This increase is due in large part to last year's half-billion package delivery increase stemming from internet sales.
Insurance is an important aspect to being a responsible dog owner. When renting a property make sure to have rental insurance because most landlords do not provide coverage should there be a dog bite incident. If you are a homeowner, talk to your insurance agent about what is covered under a standard homeowner policy related to dogs.
Join State Farm, www.statefarm.com; Victoria Stilwell, www.positively.org; Insurance Information Institute, iii.org; U.S. Postal Service, usps.com; American Humane Association, americanhumane.org; American Veterinary Medical Association, avma.org; and the American Academy of Pediatrics, www.aap.org; to drive home the message that dog-related injuries can be prevented by educating children and adults about safely interacting with dogs and reinforcing responsible dog ownership.
The mission of State Farm is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its nearly 19,000 agents and nearly 70,000 employees serve more than 84 million policies and accounts – more than 81 million auto, fire, life, health and commercial policies, and more than 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 33 on the 2016 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.
About Victoria Stilwell
Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer, TV personality, author and public speaker best known as the star of the international hit TV series Greatest American Dog and It's Me or the Dog, through which she reaches audiences in over 100 countries. The torchbearer for force-free positive reinforcement dog training methods, Stilwell is the Editor-in-Chief of Positively.com and is the CEO of both Victoria Stilwell, Inc. and Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training (VSPDT): the world's premier global network of positive reinforcement dog trainers. A co-founder of the National Dog Bite Prevention Task Force, Stilwell is also committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and rehabilitation, working closely with organizations around the world to increase awareness about puppy mills, dogfighting, animal abuse, pet overpopulation, dog bite prevention, breed-specific legislation and other animal-related issues. Appearing frequently in the global media, Stilwell is widely recognized as a leader in the field of animal behavior. She serves as a National Ambassador for the American Humane Association and is on the Advisory Boards of DogTV, Dognition, RedRover and Canine Assistants. She is also the CEO of the Victoria Stilwell Foundation, providing animal behavior expertise and funding to smaller rescue shelters and positive training-based canine assistance organizations.