California Has the Most Insurance Claims for Dog Bites

dog bite Is your dog a good dog? Not every dog owner has good control over their pet. There are certain situations that can trigger even the best dog’s instinct to bite someone. When this happens, people tend to file a dog bite claim to the homeowners insurance of the dog owner. State Farm has done a study that reveals the top ten states that have the most dog bite claims.

Many dogs are sweet, loving, people pleasing creatures. This is why so many people choose to include a dog into their family. Ideally, each dog owner will train their dogs well, and will provide them with a healthy amount of food, water, exercise, love, and attention.

Not everyone is going to take the time to do this, however, and some dog bites occur because a dog owner didn’t have good control over his or her dog. There can also be some situations where a dog’s protective instinct is triggered, which results in a dog bite. In the past year, insurance claims regarding dog bites have gotten more expensive.

State Farm has released a list of the top ten states that had the most insurance claims due to dog bites, in 2010. It makes sense to me that State Farm would be interested in this information because one of the types of insurance they sell is homeowners insurance. If your dog bites someone, that person can file a claim about it to your homeowners insurance policy. The claim doesn’t get filed to your pet insurance policy, despite the name, because pet insurance functions like a health insurance plan for your pet’s medical needs.

California ranked as number one in the list of top ten. This state had 369 dog bite claims in 2010, which resulted in a total payout of $11.3 million. Illinois ranked second, with 317 dog bite claims, and a total cost of $9.7 million.

Ohio came in third, and has a slightly different situation than other states. Ohio has decided that pit bulls fit the definition of a “vicious dog”. This means that insurance companies in Ohio will not cover that breed of dog under a homeowners insurance policy. Without including dog bites that originated from a pit bull, Ohio had 215 claims in 2010, for a total payout of $5.7 million.

Texas was number four, with 202 claims and a payout cost of $3.7 million. Next was Michigan, with 166 claims and $5.2 million in payout. Pennsylvania followed, ranking six on the list, with 155 claims and at a cost of $3.9 million.

Florida was ranked seventh, and it’s highest average cost per claim was $38,356. This is higher than the average cost for California and Illinois (who were first and second on the list). Those two states had an average cost per claim of around $30,000. The rest of the list includes Minnesota, New York, and Indiana.

Image by Doug Geisler on Flickr