State Farm Recognizes National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 15-21
May 12, 2011 - Each year, almost five million people are bitten or attacked by dogs. Dog bites are a serious public health problem that can cause both physical and emotional damage to victims and considerable cost to communities. In 2010, State Farm® had nearly 3,500 claims and paid more than $90 million as a result of dog bites nationwide. Michigan ranked fifth for the number of dog bite claims paid by State Farm in 2010 with 166 claims totaling over $5 million. This is one of the reasons that State Farm recognizes National Dog Bite Prevention Week, sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
A dog’s tendency to bite depends on such factors as heredity, obedience training, socialization, health, and the victim’s behavior. There are good dogs and bad dogs within every breed, just as there can be responsible and irresponsible owners of each breed. State Farm *does not refuse insurance based on the breed of dog a customer owns but does require policyholders to answer questions about their dogs’ history on a homeowner insurance application.
*The state of Ohio has determined that the pit bull meets the definition of a "vicious dog”.As a result, the owners of pit bulls or any American Staffordshire terrier mix are subject to specific requirements to protect the public from injury by these animals. State Farm does not provide coverage under its homeowner’s policy in the state for this breed of dog.
Children are frequent victims of dog bites. In fact, 60 percent of all dog bite victims are children under the age of 12. Tragically, of the 33 dog bites that resulted in death last year, 20 of these fatalities were young children.
In addition to stressing responsible pet ownership, State Farm encourages responsible behavior and caution around dogs, including family pets. Under the right circumstances, any dog might bite.
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Visit the State Farm Newsroom and click on the video tab for interviews with two children that were attacked by dogs and required reconstructive surgery to repair the facial injuries. Additional b-roll video for media outlets is available for download at the newsroom.
Angie Rinock, State Farm Public Affairs, (269) 384-8561.
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S., is the leading insurer of watercraft and is also a leading insurer in Canada. Our 17,800 agents and more than 66,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 79 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 34 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit statefarm.com® or in Canada statefarm.ca®.