National Dog Bite Prevention Week: Record High for Insurance Payouts
This week is National Dog Bite Prevention Week, a time that is highlighted each year to raise awareness over dog interaction and safety. Two groups in particular, the American Humane Association and the U.S. Postal Service, have joined forces to see a reduction in dog bites each year. As dog-related injury claim payouts reached a record $121 million last year, now is the time to protect your four-legged friend (regardless of breed or size) with a Dog Bite Liability Insurance policy.
It’s important to note that dog injury payouts by insurance companies are not specifically categorized by bites. These injuries could have been a result of tripping or falling, leash burns, dog jumping, and more. Heather Paul, a spokeswoman for State Farm, indicated that all dog injury claims are filed under one code.
Could this statistic also indicate that dog bites are on the rise in the U.S.? The simple answer is no, although the topic is a heated one for many. While news reports focus on dog bites, they typically hone in on the demonized breed of pit bulls and only show the goriest attacks. However, any dog, under the right circumstances, could feel threatened enough to bite.
In addition, these payouts also reflect an increase of medical care costs. Paul also attributed rising claims payments to spiking medical costs, an increase in expensive plastic surgeries to minimize scarring from dog bites, and increasing litigation.
As the majority of these victims are postal workers and children, these partners are urging education on how to properly interact with dogs. After all, not all dogs are comfortable with ear tugging, rough housing, and surprise kisses, strangers walking into their yards, hugs, etc. Teaching children and postal workers how to read and understand basic dog body language principals can reduce the threat of bites significantly.
There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.