Dog bites push up insurance costs
News from Statesman Journal:

Put a muzzle on your mutt, or your insurance premium might go up.

Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of homeowners insurance liability claims paid in 2011, costing nearly $ 479 million in the U.S., according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Property casualty insurers pay out far more in claims for property damage to homes. But when it comes to liability, the cost of dog bite claims has risen 48 percent since 2003, even though the number of dog bites has remained roughly flat, the organization said.

State Farm, the largest writer of homeowners insurance in the U.S., paid more than $ 109 million on nearly 3,800 dog bite claims in 2011. In Oregon, the insurance company paid $ 937,493 on 62 claims in 2011. Oregon ranked 27th in amount of money paid out and had 21st in the nation for the number of dog bite claims.

The Insurance Information Institute’s analysis of homeowners insurance data found that the average cost of dog bite claims in the U.S. was $ 29,396 in 2011, up 53.4 percent from $ 19,162 in 2004. Medical costs and the sizes of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs have all outpaced inflation, the organization said.

High payouts on dog bites are happening because more people own dogs, they live closer to one another, and parents are more likely to get advanced medical care for their children after a…………… continues on Statesman Journal

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