Indiana ranks 7th in claims for dog bites

May 16, 2013
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Based on the number of claims for dog bites in 2012 reported by one insurance company, Indiana dogs have a propensity to bite. State Farm’s top 10 states for dog bite claims has the Hoosier State ranking 7th.

According to State Farm, there were 148 claims in Indiana worth $2.7 million last year. California came in at No. 1, with 451 claims worth $17.1 million. Indiana’s neighbors Illinois, Michigan and Ohio all made the top 10.

The American Veterinary Medical Association released the stats as a part of its effort to educate people about dog bites during National Dog Bite Prevention Week. The U.S. Postal Service also released stats about dog bites involving its workers, but no Indiana city was included in the 14-city ranking.

Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out last year, according to the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm.

The number of claims fell last year as compared to 2011, but the average cost paid out for a claim increased.

“While a decrease in dog bite claims is good news, the rise in claims costs by even a small amount suggests that medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs are still on the upswing,” according to institute.
 

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