According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the number of insurance claims related to dog bites has basically remained the same over the past ten years. What has apparently changed is the amount of money paid out to injured parties on these claims. Over the past ten years the number of dog bite claims have ranged from around 14,000 to 16,000. The III reports that while the number of dog bite claims has fluctuated a little, the value of the claims have gone in one direction, and that direction is upward.
According to the III, in 2012, dog bite claims accounted for $479.7 million. That amount was more than one-third of all homeowners liability claims paid in that year. In 2003, there were a few hundred more claims made and total payouts were $324.2 million. This seems to indicate a 51% increase on the value of dog bite claims over the past ten years. The average dog bite claim in 2003 was paid $19,162.00. The average dog bite claim in 2012 was paid $29,752.00. This indicates a 55% increase in the amount of the average dog bite claim.
The insurance industry appears to be bitting back as a result of these increases. Insurance premiums for owners of dogs that have bitten someone or that are considered a dangerous breed could go up. Additionally, coverage available for attacks may excluded from the policy unless a higher premium has been paid by the homeowner. As a last resort, homeowner's insurance carriers may deny a homeowner with a dangerous dog the ability to procure coverage through their company because of the increased risk of exposure.