There are approximately sixty-eight million dogs living in homes in the US. Dogs bite an estimated four to five million citizens on an annual basis, about two percent of the entire population. There has been a slight increase in the number of dog bite cases against pet owners. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) warns that, every year, people have a one in fifty chance of being attacked and/or bitten by a dog. Owners can reduce the chances of paying out-of-pocket expenses by carrying liability insurance for dogs.
Dog bites often require medical attention
Hospitals have reported a rise in severe bites to many victims. For bites that are potentially health threatening, many must seek medical attention. More than 350,000 victims per year enter an emergency room for care and treatment for their more serious dog wounds, which now rank among the top causes of nonfatal injuries.
Children are the most frequent bite victims, due to their small size and alarmed reactions to animals, and they represent more than fifty percent of the total number of cases investigated. Not surprisingly, nearly half of all children that have been bitten were under the age of twelve.
Studies show that dog bites account for one-third of homeowner insurance claims nationally, and insurance companies pay out approximately $345 million of the more than $1 billion dollar losses associated with dog bites annually. As a result, many companies are amending their homeowner insurance policies, with some attempting to limit or exclude coverage for dog bites.
It may be difficult to obtain coverage for more dangerous breeds
Due to the inherent dangers associated with certain breeds, many insurance companies may deny coverage for dangerous dogs. There are often recurring commonalities in dog attacks, since most dog bites occur in the home or another familiar place, most attacks are perpetrated by unneutered males, and dogs contained or otherwise restrained on the owner’s property are often found to be responsible for more serious and even fatal attacks, as opposed to those roaming at large.
Despite the growing number of dog bites, attacks ending in human death are undeniably rare. Dog bite liabilities are a serious concern and owners of dogs should ensure that they carry liability insurance for dogs to help pay any costs when their pet causes injury to person or another animal.