According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, millions of people are bitten every year by dogs. And as Ted Griggs writes for the Advocate, more than 800,000 of those people suffer dog bites severe enough to prompt them to seek medical treatment.
Dog bites have a relatively surprising impact on the insurance industry, where dog bites came in second only to house fires as one of the highest costs among all homeowner’s insurance claims.
What does it take to settle your average dog bite case?
As Ted Griggs writes, the average comes in just shy of $30,000 per case, with more than 16,000 total claims throughout the U.S. last year. Gary Stephenson is a State Farm spokesman. He said, “The cost comes over someone suing someone over the bite. Whether the bite was damaging or not, there’s the pain and suffering and all that when it goes to court.”
If a particular dog bite case is especially troubling, given the severity of damage caused to the victim (ranging from disfigurement to wrongful death), a jury trial could result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages awarded to the victim or victim’s family.
This is why it might be hard to get insurance from some agencies for vicious dogs or those dogs with prior biting history, as Griggs reports. “The reason, obviously, is because the dogs are biting children and causing damage,” said the owner of one such agency.
Source: Dog bites rank high among insurance claims