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US Home Insurers Paid Out Nearly $900M In Dog-Related Claims in 2021

“There was a slight decrease in the 2021 average cost per claim,” said Janet Ruiz, CPCU, AIM, Director – Strategic Communication, Triple-I. “However, there was a steep increase in that cost over the past 10 years, no doubt due to increased medical costs, as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs.” Ruiz noted the value of claims also has risen 44 percent over that same period.

As pet owners return to the workplace or school, pets will be left home alone. Behavioral issues, such as separation anxiety, could result in aggressive and destructive behavior. This could be a problem for dogs adopted during the pandemic, as well as pets now used to their owners being at home.

Number and Cost of Dog Bite Claims (And Other Dog-Related Injuries*), 2012-2021

Year

Value of Claims
($ millions)

Number of Claims

Average Cost Per Claim

2012

$489.7

16,459

$29,752

2013

483.7

17,359

27,862

2014

530.8

16,550

32,072

2015

571.3

15,352

37,214

2016

602.2

18,123

33,230

2017

686.3

18,522

37,051

2018

674.9

17,297

39,017

2019

796.8

17, 802

44,760

2020

853.7

17,567

50,245

2021

881.8

17,989

49,025

% change, 2020-2021

1.12%

2.2%

-1.1%

% change, 2012-2021

44%

9.0%

39%





Source: Insurance Information Institute, State Farm®.

*Claims costs are attributable not only to dog bites but also to dogs knocking down children, cyclists, and the elderly, which can result in costly injuries.

California continued to have the largest number of claims in the US, at 2,026 in 2021, a slight decrease from 2,121 in 2020. California also had the highest value of claims in 2021, at $120.7 millionand the highest average cost per claim in 2021, at $59,561. The state with the second-highest number of claims last year was Floridaat 1,478.

Estimated Number and Cost of Dog Bite Claims (And Other Dog-Related Injuries*), 2021 State Results

Rank

State

number of claims

Average cost per claim

Value of claims
($ millions)

one

AC

2,026

$59,561

$120.7

two

FL

1,478

54,820

81.1

3

TX

1,003

39,884

40.0

4

NY

900

68,203

61.4

5

ME

892

48,258

43.0

6

IL

844

56,292

47.5

7

PA

777

47,353

36.8

8

ooh

732

41,499

30.4

9

NJ

661

49,981

30.5

10

A-Z

489

43,059

14.5


Top 10

9,752

52,543

512.4


Remaining States

8,237

44,860

369.5


Total United States

17,989

49,025

$881.9

Source: Insurance Information Institute, State Farm®.

Be A Responsible Dog Owner

National Dog Bite Prevention Week (April 10-16, 2022) is an annual event designed to provide consumers with information on how to be responsible pet owners while increasing awareness of a serious public health issue.

Even dogs that are normally docile may bite when they are frightened or when defending their puppies, owners or food. However, the best way to protect yourself is to prevent your dog from biting anyone in the first place. The most dangerous dogs are those that fall victim to human shortcomings, such as poor training, irresponsible ownership and breeding practices that foster viciousness.

RELATED LINKS

infographic: National Dog Bite Prevention Week (April 10-16, 2022)
Videos: Dog Bite Prevention
Four Tips to Keep Your Dog from Causing Any Harm

The Triple-I has a full library of educational videos on its YouTube Channel.

SOURCE Insurance Information Institute

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