May 20-26, is National Dog Bite Prevention Week
Little Rock, Ark., May 25, 2012 - Officials with State Farm state that the nation’s largest insurer paid more than $109 million on nearly 3800 dog bite claims in 2011. This is up from the $90 million paid on 3500 such claims in 2010.
State Farm data shows it had 246 dog bite claims filed in Louisiana for the 5-year period 2007 - 2011, at a cost of $5.9 million paid. The insurer reports 55 claims in Louisiana in 2011, for which a little over $1.3 million has been paid. Louisiana ranked 24th on State Farm's national ranking of states for numbers of dog bite claims. California ranked first with 527 claims, followed by Illinois (309 claims), and Texas (219) in 2011.
State Farm spokesman Gary Stephenson, said, “According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) there are over 4.5 million dog bite incidents with humans every year in the US. About 20% of those, over 800,000, result in the victims seeking medical attention. That makes this a significant public health issue, and one to which we should pay notice.”
The Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates that in 2011, insurers across the country paid nearly $479 million in dog bite claims. Stephenson said the average size dog bite claim in Arkansas in 2011 for State Farm was about $28,000. The costs involved include medical costs, and often liability or court awards come into play as well.
Children make up more than 60 percent of all dog bite victims.
State Farm and the American Humane Association offer the following safety tips that might help minimize dog bite risk:
State Farm officials say a dog’s tendency to bite depends on such factors as heredity, a dog’s temperament, obedience training, socialization, health, the victim’s behavior, and circumstances of the encounter. There are aggressive dogs and more gentle 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 in any U.S. state. However, a dog’s behavior history is taken into account, and can affect insurability.
State Farm’s list of states with the most dog bites reported as insurance claims is as follows:
|State||Number of claims||Claims paid (estimated)|
|New York||133||$6.1 million|
Gary Stephenson, Public Affairs Specialist, (501) 615-6004.
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts - more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.