Far out Friday: US insurers stump up $686 million for dog bites

Far out Friday: US insurers stump up $686 million for dog bites | Insurance Business Australia

Far out Friday: US insurers stump up $686 million for dog bites

It seems there’s one type of injury that’s causing US insurers a major headache after a recent study found it was to blame for one third of all homeowners’ liability claim dollars paid out in 2017.

According to the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm, the largest writer of homeowners’ insurance in the US, dog bites and dog-related injuries cost almost $700 million last year.

An analysis of insurance data by the I.I.I. found that the number of dog bite claims nationwide increased from 18,122 in 2016 to 18,522 in 2017 – a 2.2% rise.

The average cost per claim also jumped by 11.5% with the 2017 average of $37,051 notably higher than the 2016 average of $33,230.

“The increase in the 2017 average cost per claim could be attributed to an increase in severity of injuries,” said Kristin Palmer, chief communications officer with the I.I.I.

“But the average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 90% from 2003 to 2017, due to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs,” she added.

California continued to have the largest number of claims at 2,228 in 2017, an increase from 1,934 in 2016. The state also had the highest value of claims in 2017, valued at $90.4 million.

The state with the second highest number of claims last year was Florida at 1,345 while the state also had the highest average cost per claim, at $44,700 per claim in 2017.

The top 10 states for number and cost of dog bite claims (and dog-related injuries)

Rank

State

Number of claims

Average cost per claim

Value of claims

1

CA

2,228

$40,563

$90.4M

2

FL

1,345

$44,700

$60.1M

3

PA

1,002

$26,486

$26.5M

4

NY

957

$43,479

$41.6M

5

OH

932

$24,795

$23.1M

6

TX

929

$35,562

$33M

7

IL

901

$36,844

$33.2M

8

MI

734

$38,798

$28.5M

9

NJ

686

$43,652

$29.9M

10

MN

486

$29,873

$14.5M

 

Top 10

10,200

$37,346

$380.9M

 

Other

8,322

$36,690

$305.3M

 

Total US

18,522

$37,051

$686.3M

 

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