Dog bites cost insurers $675 million last year. According to State Farm and the Insurance Information Institute, this constituted one-third of all homeowners’ liability claims that were paid in 2018.
Based upon the number of claims, Georgia ranked 11th among the worst state for dog bites in 2018. Insurers received 448 dog bite claims last year. Their average cost was $33,430 and $15 million was paid out for all the claims. Some home insurance companies will charge owners a higher premium if they own a certain dog breed, Sometimes, owners of these breeds may be unable to purchase a homeowner’s policy.
Insurers have claimed that Rottweilers, Doberman pinchers and wolf-dog hybrids are breeds that are too risky. Wolf-dog hybrids that come from mating a wolf and a dog are also classified as being overly risky. Owning a hybrid is illegal in Georgia unless its owner has a permit. A local television station reported about harm caused by one of these hybrids last year in Paulding County. A wolf hybrid that escaped from its owners bit a 14-year-old girl on her arms and legs.
California had the worst record for 2018. It had 2,166 insurance claims for dog bites. Their average cost was $45,543 and there was a total payout of $98.6 million. Emergency room visits and hospitalizations for dog bites doubled in some locations, such as Sacramento County, since 2006. The use of large dogs for protections may be responsible for this trend.
Any dog can cause injury if it is not trained properly, socialized and cared for by an owner who acts responsibly. An attorney can seek compensation for these injuries from owners.