Dog Bite Prevention Week Starts May 18th- Are You Aware of Your Risks?

Dog Bite Prevention Week Starts May 18th– Are You Aware of Your Risks?

In 2013, dog bites for U.S. insurers climbed up to 17,359 claims, a 5.5% increase from the year before. The last time the number was even near as high was in 2003, with New York State having the costliest attacks. In fact, the average cost in New York State now is $43,122 per claim, compared with a $27,862 average nationwide.

The Insurance Information Institute conducted an analysis of homeowners insurance and found that over 30% of homeowners insurance claims came from canine-related injuries. It’s estimated that about 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and about a fifth of those incidents require medical attention, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s important to note that dog bite claims are not just limited to actual bites; they may also include injuries due to scratching, tripping, knocking down a person, or frightening a person.

National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which runs from May 18th 2014- May 24th 2014, is intended to educate the public and raise awareness of the importance of preventing dog bites. Many experts have offered advice on how this can be done. For example, according to Los Angeles dog bite attorney Kenneth Philips, small children should be told to avoid disturbing animals while they are eating or sleeping, and dogs should never be left along with infants. Also, as a dog owner, it’s important to be educated about canine behavior to the extent that you understand whether or not you have an aggressive dog.

In addition to focusing on dog bite prevention, all dog owners should know how to  protect themselves financially should their dog bite or otherwise injure another person. It’s important to understand that although your homeowners insurance coverage might include dog bite liability, it is usually only to a small limit and may exclude many breeds.

Even if your canine is not naturally aggressive, a dog bite may still occur whether it’s out of fear or a playful accident. Dog bite prevention is every dog owner’s responsibility. Linda DeCarlo, manager of safety for the U.S. Postal service, states that the phrase “Don’t worry, my dog won’t bite” is considered a myth. Nobody can know for sure that there dog will never bite or injure another person, and since homeowners insurance policies often do not cover the complete costs of a claim, Dog Bite Liability Insurance is essential for all dog owners.

F.I.D.O., the Federation of Insured Dog Owners, Inc. offers the Covered Canine Policy, an exclusive product and benefit for F.I.D.O. members only that specializes in Dog Bite Liability Insurance programs that will protect you should your dog bite an individual and cause harm. It does not exclude any breed of dog and starts as low as $75 per dog, per year. To learn more about our policies and what to do if ever faced with a dog bite claim, please visit our Claim Info page and contact us at (855) 534-6495.

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