Study Shows Significant Increase in Dog Bite Liability Payouts in 2011

Posted On: June 25, 2012 under

presented by: Gary Massey
TN Dog Attack Medical Care CostA new study conducted by the Insurance Information Institute reveals dog bites cost insurance companies an estimated $479 million in 2011. reports that this $479 million accounts for a large part of payouts under homeowner’s liability policies.
The study reveals a slight decline in the number of dog bite claims, but the cost per case has risen 54 percent since 2003, resulting in an average of $29,400 for each case in 2011. (The average cost per claim increased to $64,555 in 2023, according to data collected by the World Animal Foundation.) This accounts for more than one-third of the total liability claims paid out by homeowners.
The Institute states that the increase can be attributed to higher medical costs as well as the amount of settlements awarded to plaintiffs, which has risen considerably above the rate of inflation in recent years. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year, of which 800,000 seek medical attention and 386,000 require emergency room treatment, showing how frequent dog bites occur and how serious dog bite injuries can be.
A homeowner liability policy traditionally covers dog bites, but some insurance companies are now modifying how they write their policies. A Beverly Hills-based attorney who specializes in representing dog bite victims explains that insurance companies started “experimenting” cutting out coverage for dog bites, and homeowners should check with their provider to verify coverage. For certain breeds of dogs that are associated with attacks, a homeowner may need special canine liability insurance.
Without proper coverage, a severe dog attack can lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and compensation to the canine owner.
A dog bite can leave a victim with serious physical and emotional injuries, which may require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. The Chattanooga dog bite lawyers of Massey & Associates, P.C. understand how devastating a dog attack can be and are committed to helping bite victims get the compensation they need to heal. To discuss your potential case with us, please call (423) 697-4529.