Insurers pay $479M in dog-bite claims

Dog bites man does not get a lot of attention in the news, but it costs insurance companies hundreds of millions in claims every year.

State Farm Insurance, one of the nation’s largest home insurers, paid more than $109 million on about 3,800 dog-bite claims nationwide last year, spokesman Eddie Martinez said Wednesday. In 2010, there were about 3,500 claims and $90 million in payouts.

The Insurance Information Institute estimated that nearly $479 million in dog-bite claims were paid by all insurance companies in 2011, spokeswoman Loretta Worters said. In 2010, it was $413 million.

About 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year and more than half of the victims are children, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. About 800,000 people seek medical attention for the bites.

Associated Press