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Credit: Crain's

 May 2023

Insurers paid out more than $1 billion in dog-related injury claims in 2022


Credit: wikipedia

Despite the fact that there were fewer claims filed in 2021, insurers still paid out more than $1 billion in dog-related injury claims in 2022, according to State Farm and the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I).
According to a Triple-I examination of homeowners insurance claims data, there were 17,597 dog-related injury claims in the U.S. in 2022, down from 17,989 in 2021. The total cost of claims climbed noticeably from $882 million in 2021 to $1.13 billion in 2022, despite a 2.2% reduction in the number of claims.

From $49,025 in 2021 to $64,555 in 2022, the average cost per claim increased by 31.7%. The average cost per claim climbed 131.7% nationwide between 2013 and 2022 as a result of rising medical expenditures as well as plaintiffs' increasing access to larger settlements, verdicts, and jury awards.

In 2022, five states accounted for more than one-third of all dog-related injury claims: California (1,954 claims), Florida (1,331), Texas (1,017), New York (969) and Michigan (905). Moreover, California had the highest average cost per claim ($78,818), followed by Florida ($78,203).

According to a Triple-I review of dog bite legislation compiled by the American Property Casualty Insurers Association (APCIA) as of March 2021, dog owners are generally responsible for injuries caused by their animals in 29 states, with certain exceptions as if the dog was provoked. Four states—Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, and North Dakota—have no legislation regarding dog bites.

Dog bite liability legal costs are often covered by homeowner and renter insurance policies up to limits that are normally between $100,000 and $300,000. Several insurance providers refuse to cover homeowners who have dangerous dogs. Others make decisions based on individual circumstances, claims Triple-I. According to legislation in Pennsylvania and Michigan, owners of specific dog breeds cannot have their insurance plans cancelled or denied, respectively.

Over 69 million U.S. households own dogs, according to data provided by Triple-I. The majority of the 4.5 million people who are bitten by dogs each year are youngsters.

From: Insurance Journal

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