The Los Angeles Times reports that there were 1,919 dog bite claims filed last year with insurance companies in California, higher than any otther state. Claims paid on dog bite cases totaled $64.7 million. Dog bite claims have risen throughout the country in 2013, with total claims paid totaling $484 million nationally. The number of claims rose across the nation by 5.5%.
Dog bite claims are typically covered under the liability provisions of homeowners insurance policies. Of all claims paid under homeowners policies, dog bite claims accounted for one third of the costs for insurance companies under homeowners liablity claims.
Bites Aren't the Only Cause of Injuries
Not all claims arose from dog bites. Mixed into these numbers are injuries from scratches, tripping and being knocked down by a dog, and more. Increases in pet ownership may account for the increased number of claims. Increased costs of medical care may have contributed to the increase in the cost of claims paid by insurance companies. Since not all dog owners have homeowners insurance that would cover these incidents, it is safe to assume that the total number of dog bites or dog attacks is actually much larger, as the numbers reported are only for insurance claims and payments.
While not all dog attacks can be avoided, it is best to be wary around strange dogs and keep your children away from strange dogs as bites to children can be among the most severe.