Dog-Bite Costs Surge to $479 Million?
of the average claim jumped 12 percent on higher medical fees, legal settlements
and jury awards.
Bites cost the industry $478.9 million last year, compared with $412.6
million in 2010, the Insurance Information Institute said in a statement
Thursday on its website. The average claim increased to $29,396.
“The most dangerous dogs are those that fall victim to human shortcomings
such as poor training, irresponsible ownership and breeding practices that
foster viciousness,” according to the statement.
The attacks account for more than one-third of all liability payouts from
home insurers. A lawsuit can cost more than $100,000 in legal fees and lost
wages, even if the homeowner wins, according to the institute, which says dog
owners can limit confrontations by spaying or neutering the animals and keeping
them from infants.
There were 16,292 claims last year, down from 2003, the first year the
institute’s data were listed in the statement. The average cost per claim
increased 53 percent since 2003.
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