Columbia, MO, May 10, 2011- State Farm for the first time issued a countrywide ranking of its dog bite claims, and the Show-Me State comes in at No. 19.
Each year, dogs bite or attack nearly five million people. It is 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. In Missouri, we received 61 claims and paid out close to $608,000. 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.
Jim Camoriano, State Farm Insurance, (573) 499-2452.
State Farm insures more cars and homes than any other insurer in the U.S. and is the leading insurer of watercraft. 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®.