Dog Bite Liability: Cost of a Dog Bite
Dog bites can turn your life upside down and easily become a financial burden that some may not even recover from. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute (III) quantifies the average dog bite claim to be $26,166.
Prior to meeting our best friend, we mentally calculate how much they may cost. We take into account the actual cost of the dog, food, toys, vet expenses and shelter, but what about a potential dog bite claim?
Most dog owners genuinely believe their dog is loyal, friendly and harmless. But if this were the case, 4.5 million people would not be bitten each year. Nor would 800,000 dog bites require medical attention.
So, how much does a dog bite really cost?
If you are deemed liable for the damages caused by your dog, you will have to cover the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Property damage
Medical Expenses include :
- Surgery Procedures
- Hospital Services
- Physical Therapy
Lost Income: Bites can be traumatic both physically and mentally and as a result, many victims take time off from work. The dog owner will have to reimburse the victim for any lost income.
Pain and Suffering: The amount of compensation a victim receives varies in each state and each case. Upon calculating the amount, a judge or insurance company considers the following:
- Costs of medical damages
- Age of victim
- Breed of dog
- Cause of attack (provoked or unprovoked)
Unless you do have the luxury of paying out of pocket for these expenses, it is essential for dog owners to purchase dog bite insurance. Keep in mind, not every homeowners insurance policy covers if your dog attacks someone.
A recent report, estimates the average amount paid for dog bite claims in 2012.
California Dog Bites- $17.1 million
Illinois Dog Bites – $ 9.0 million
Texas Dog Bites – $ 4.3 million
Ohio Dog Bites – $5.0 million
Pennsylvania Dog Bites – $4.5 million
Michigan Dog Bites- $4.6 million
Indiana Dog Bites – $2.7 million
Florida Dog Bites – $7.1 million
Georgia Dog Bites – $ 3.3 million
New York Dog Bites – $6.4 million
Now you can protect yourself and your best friend with F.I.D.O.’s Covered Canine Insurance Policy.
F.I.D.O., the Federation of Insured Dog Owners, Inc., now offers the Covered Canine Policy, an exclusive product and benefit for F.I.D.O. members only. This policy is available in California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin. It will protect you should your dog attack an individual and cause harm. It does not exclude any breed of dog and starts as low as $75 per dog, per year.