Dog bite claims: top ten states

Posted by RJ & Makay on May 12, 2011

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Dog bite claims: top ten states

California led the nation in 2010 dog bite claims, at 369, representing a total payout of $11.3 million, according to a State Farm Insurance Co. report that lists the top ten states for dog bite claims.  Illinois ranked second with 317 claims for a total cost of $9.7 million.  Florida, though seventh on the list, registered the highest average cost per claim at $38,356. California and Illinois’ average cost per claim was around $30,000.

State Farm, for the most part, does not refuse insurance based on dog breeds, though does require homeowners to answer questions about their dog’s history on the insurance application.  The lone exception is Ohio, which has determined that Bit Bulls meet the definition of “vicious dog.”  State Farm excludes them from Ohio resident’s homeowners insurance.  Despite the exclusion, Ohio still came in third at 215 claims for a total payout of $5.7 million.

Top 10 states for State Farm dog bite claims in 2010:

State Number of Claims Claims Paid (estimated)
1. California 369 $11.3m
2. Illinois 317 9.7m
3. Ohio 215 5.7m
4. Texas 202 3.7m
5. Michigan 166 5.2m
6. Pennsylvania 155 3.9m
7. Florida 146 5.6m
8. Minnesota 139 3.4m
9. New York 119 4.3m
10. Indiana 114 1.8









State Farm paid out $90 million nationwide, from 3500 claims, for all of 2010. 33 were fatality claims.  The Insurance Information Institute estimates that all insurers paid out approximately $412 million in dog bite claims in 2009, the most recent information available.

All dog owners face potential liability should their animal bite, maul, or in the worst-case scenario, kill someone.  A single bite could cost tens of thousands of dollars.  Lawsuits can run into hundreds of thousands.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 4.7 million people in the country suffer dog bites each year, and nearly 900,000 require medical attention.  Half of them are children.

RJ & Makay




Top 10 states for dog bite claims (  Insurance Journal, May 11, 2011

Your dog’s bite could bankrupt you (  MSN Money, July 14, 2009




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