When good dogs have bad days who pays?
State Farm paid nearly $211 million in 2022 for dog-related injury claims
In 2022, State Farm paid nearly $211 million dollars for over 3,285 dog-related injury claims. The number of claims increased by just 26 claims compared to 2021 data, while the amount paid increased by $49 million dollars, a staggering 30%. In fact, according to data compiled by the Insurance Information Institute, homeowner insurance companies in the US paid a record high of $1.1 billion in 2022 for dog-related injuries.
While the number of dog-related injury claims in 2022 underscores the progress of educating dog owners to take responsibility for their beloved pets, the amount paid for these claims draws attention to the financial cost of a dog bite or injury claim. In addition to medical expenses, homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite legal expenses, up to the liability limits on the policy. If the claim exceeds the limit, the dog owner is responsible for all damages above that amount out of their own pocket.
Top 10 states for State Farm dog-related claims in 2022
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State Farm is a member of the National Dog Bite Prevention Week® (April 9-15, 2023) Coalition. The insurer joins the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Insurance Information Institute (Triple I), American Humane, and dog behavior expert Victoria Stilwell to draw attention to dog bites and ways to reduce injuries to people and pets.
In March 2023, State Farm and members of the National Dog Bite Prevention Coalition conducted an Ask Suzy survey of over 1,330 participants about their experience with dogs.
- 23%, nearly a quarter of participants, said they have been injured by a scratch from a dog, while 19% said they have been injured by a bite.
- 17% of participants people responded “YES” their dog has either bitten them or another dog.
- 11% of survey participants filed an insurance claim because of a dog-related injury.
- 6% of participants have either sued or been sued because of a dog-related injury claim.
It is important to remember that just like humans, dogs are individuals, and every dog has a unique personality. While a dogs’ breed may dictate how they look, how a dog reacts in a situation isn’t guaranteed by breed or type. Even well-trained dogs can bite if they are put into the wrong situation. Responsible pet ownership is key to reducing the risk. In fact, according to the Ask Survey results, 74% of people responded there needed to be MORE awareness and education on dog bite prevention.
Reduce the Risk of Your Dog Biting: Providing the Basics
Owning a pet is a privilege. There are a few basic needs that all pet owners should be able to provide for the health and safety of pets and the people around them.
Reduce the Risk of Your Dog Biting: Pay Attention to Your Pet
Accidents happen when people aren’t paying attention. Be aware of delivery drivers. E-commerce sales as a percentage of total retail sales have doubled in the past seven years, and many Americans are having more and more deliveries brought to their doors. These interactions have the potential for trouble, so avoid letting your dog come to the front door to greet people.
Reduce the Risk of Your Dog Biting: Changes in Pet Health and Pain
Make sure your pet is healthy. Not all illnesses and injuries are obvious, and dogs are more likely to bite if they are sick or in pain. Routine visits to the vet may pick up on early signs of illness. If you don’t have a pet medical insurance policy in place to cover illness or injury, talk to your State Farm agent or go online to learn how a Trupanion policy can help with medical expenses.
Infographics (click to view larger)
For 100 years, the mission of State Farm has been and continues to be 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 more than 19,400 agents and approximately 61,764 employees serve over 91 million policies and accounts – which includes auto, fire, life, health, commercial policies and financial services 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. 42 on the 2022 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com.