Dog Bites Insurance Companies: Man’s Best Friend Behind One-Third of All Homeowner Claims
Postal Service, which reported 5,879 bites and attacks last year, 274 more than in 2011. As states continue to crack down on biting dogs and to enact leash laws, the 43 million dog-owning households are increasingly on guard against losing their best friends to animal control and paying through the nose for victims’ medical costs and lawsuits, says Loretta Worters, Vice President of the Insurance Information Institute. “There’s two lies we hear at the Postal Service. One is, “The check’s in the mail,” and two is, “My dog won’t bite,’ ” says Mark Saunders, USPS spokesman. He adds that it’s almost never the postal service’s fault that you haven’t received your check, and usually the person who owes you just hasn’t sent it yet. Leading the list of dog bite claims were California, coming in first, with 451 claims costing $17.1 million; Illinois at 337 claims costing $9 million at second; and Texas with 236 claims costing $4.3 million at third. Six states on State Farm’s Top 10 states for dog bite claims list had improved from the year before; four Illinois, Texas, Indiana, and Georgia reported more claims. Avoid dog bites: Get sniffed.
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Treating dog bites
His grandmother, Marissa Pettiford; and Vernon Jackson, the father of Pettiford’s 13-year-old daughter, were charged with having an unlicensed
dangerous dog, a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Pettiford, Jackson and the boy’s mother, whose name is being withheld because her son is a victim, also were charged with allowing a dog to commit a nuisance. Jackson, 45, who lives in a different apartment in this New York City suburb of 200,000, was ordered held on $15,000 bail Thursday, Yonkers Corporation Counsel Michael Curti said. The dog was euthanized the same day at the city’s animal shelter. The dog was at Pettiford’s apartment for the weekend at her daughter’s request, Pettiford said. “For the three days she was here, it was no problem,” Pettiford said of the pit bull. STORY: 8-year-old family dog kills Ga. toddler The incident took place Nov. 10.
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Dog bites drive up insurance payouts; premiums could be next
The low over the past decade occurred in 2005, when 14,295 dog bite claims were recorded. While the number of dog bite claims has fluctuated a bit up and down, the value of claims has gone in one direction : upward. In the 2012, dog bite claims accounted for $489.7 million, which is more than one-third of all homeowners liability claims paid in the year, according to the III. Compare that to 2003, when there were a few hundred more dog bite claims, and yet the claim payouts totaled $324.2 million. From 2003 to 2012, the value of dog bite claims increased 51%, a rate that far outpaces inflation. The average dog bite claim payout rose from $19,162 in 2003 to $29,752 last year, an increase of 55%. (MORE: Millions on Pet Halloween Costumes? Why We Spend More and More on Pets ) Insurers take notice of such data, and yes, owning a dogespecially one that has bitten someonecan affect your policy.
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Small dog bite leads to year of medical appointments
If you talk to pedestrians, particularly seniors and children who have been chased by loose dogs walking to their home or to the bus stop in Sacramento, you’ll find some carry dog treats to distract the dog from biting them. But is this the answer? Could there be something that works even with deaf dogs? Should you offer dog food to a dog that’s attacking you? See the site, Dog Aggression: The Humane Society of the United States . Some dogs with food aggression become even more aggressive around food. But can most dogs make friends with you if you offer food each time you walk down the same street, such as the block on which you live, and the same loose dog comes at you to attack? See, Why Dogs Attack People | Dog Info | Dog Breeds | Dog Training . If you’ve spoken to your neighbor about a loose dog that chases you as you walk down your own block daily, should you carry dog treats if the person can’t keep his/her dog in the yard? Or should you keep calling Animal Control about a loose dog?
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Pit bull bites off N.Y. 5-year-old’s genitals
It’s just the dog’s way of saying, ‘You’re in my space. Stay away from me. I’m not interested in you right now.’” Ruben Hernandez, the supervising animal control officer at Sacramento Animal County Animal Care and Regulation, agrees with Dickinson, especially in regards to dogs who are roaming or loose. “[People] don’t take into account that this is a dog that’s scared, that is loose, and more than likely has not been around any other people than it’s family.” As a result when people call and report a loose roaming pet, Hernandez and his officers have a routine answer they give. “We always tell people we are professionals, we want them to use our service. Most of the time we tell people not to approach. They own dogs and love dogs. It’s a person’s natural inclination to want to help, The thought of a dog being in the street and defenseless [makes them] want to help.” In spite of the warnings, some people want to do something and in that case Hernandez offers additional tips, “We say, no abrupt movements.
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Dog Bite Prevention Week: A Time to Take Responsibility for Dog Bites
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. 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% 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 bite, said Bob Skow, CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa. “Forty years ago, a kid got bit, Mom and Dad didn’t take him to a plastic surgeon,” he said. “Nowadays they do.” Most often, kids are the bite victims.
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. or else the dog will have had a history of some level of aggression that was simply ignored, left untreated, or allowed to escalate.” Federated Farmers Waikato provincial president James Houghton said dogs attacking stock was a nationwide problem and cost farmers “plenty of money”. Ad Feedback Houghton advised farmers to report all dog attacks. “Sometimes you might have several farms hit by dog attacks but farmers might not be aware neighbouring properties have been affected. But if they contact the council, their officers can collate the data and see if there are any patterns in the attacks.” As opposed to the region, in the Waikato district (which takes in places like Raglan, Huntly, Ngaruawahia, and Tuakau) there is a dog attack every second day. Waikato council customer supporter general manager Sue Duignan said the council’s response to dog attacks depended on the seriousness of the incident and the owner’s actions. “In many cases the dog is surrendered by the owner to our animal control team and humanely euthanised. In other cases the dogs receive a classification such as menacing or dangerous, which sets specific guidelines for the owner.” The council encouraged responsible dog ownership through payment discounts on dog registrations and reduced fees for owners who hadn’t been subject to any dog offences. Across the region, council animal control officers work with the community to educate dog owners as well as give presentations to schools and community groups to promote dog safety.
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