Dog Bites Can Cause Money Troubles for their Owners - Keating Agency Insurance

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dog bitesDog bites are painful and potentially dangerous for the victims.  They also can cause some big headaches for their owners.

Just like parents can be held responsible for the actions of their juvenile children, dog owners are accountable for the actions of their dogs. Whether in your yard or somewhere else, what your dog does can come back to bite you.

Dog Bite Claims Decrease, But Still Expensive

In an article from, our friends at State Farm report that insurance claims for dog bites decreased in calendar year 2018.  However, the insurance company still paid $123 million for more than 3,000 claims.  Industry-wide, $675 million was paid for dog-related injuries.

The Insurance Information Institute named California and Florida as the states that report the highest number of bite claims.  California also doled the most money on average per claim, about $45,500 each.

In Connecticut, 537 claims were reported and cost insurers $19.14 million.

Depending on your dog’s breed, and if it has bitten people before, your Homeowners Insurance may not cover the cost.  And with the average state payout of more than $35,600, even a little dog bite could be a real pain in your pocketbook.

dog bitesSome steps dog owners can take steps to minimize the potential for dog bites are:

  • Never leave small children alone with a dog.
  • Socialize pets to feel comfortable around people and other animals.
  • Be aware of people approaching your dog.
  • Be aware of your dog’s posture and body language to detect if the dog is agitated.

Even with these steps, the Kingsport Times-News reminds readers: all dogs can bite.  To avoid being bitten by a dog, use State Farm’s WAIT method.

  • W – Wait to see if a dog is with its owner.
  • A – Ask the owner for permission to pet the dog. If the answer is “No,” walk away.
  • I – Invite the dog to sniff you using a quiet voice.
  • T – Touch the dog gently somewhere other than its face, head, or tail.

Whether you are a dog owner or regularly encounter dogs, respecting the animal’s space and sense of safety can help prevent dog bites.

For the last 50 years, the Keating Agency has helped you navigate the world of insurance and claimsOur goal has always been to help you become a more informed consumer, so you can properly protect what’s most important to you.

Please contact us anytime if you have questions about the impact of dog bite claims on your Homeowners Insurance and if your policy has a breed exclusion. We also welcome the opportunity to talk to you about other areas of concern.

The Keating Agency has been here for you for 50 years.  We hope to be here for 50 more.