There are an estimated 90 million dogs living in U.S. households. Each year, millions of people are bitten or attacked by dogs, however these incidents can often be prevented.
A new report from State Farm and The Insurance Information Institute (III) explains how it isn’t just people affected by the COVID pandemic. In fact, your own pets may have been picking up on your stress and anxiety.
In 2020 there were 16,991 related injury claims in the US with over $853 million paid. Florida was ranked #2 in the country with $68 million paid in 1,235 dog bites claims. The average paid claim of over $55,000.
The State of California had the most claims with 2,103 claims and over 135 million paid, The District of Columbia had the least claims with 51 and $1.3 million paid. Over the past decade (2011-2020), State Farm has paid over $1.1 BILLION for dog-related injury claims.
In 2020, State Farm alone paid nearly $157 million dollars for over 3,185 dog-related injury claims. The highest month for number of claims and amount paid for those claims was at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown. In March 2020, State Farm paid over $19 million dollars for 320 injury claims. Dogs were picking up on their owner stress and increased activity on the home (children home from school, adults working from home), resulting in negative behavior because of anxiety. In fact, children make up more than 50% of all dog bite victims.
The top 10 states for dog-related injury claims are: California, Florida, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia and New Jersey.
State Farm joins each year the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), American Humane Society, and Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) to share important information about responsible pet ownership and safely interacting with dogs. This year, National Dog Bite Prevention Week (April 11 – April 18) will focus on transitioning pets in a post-pandemic world. As pet owners return to the work place or school, pets will be left home alone. This may result in destructive or aggressive behavior due to stress and anxiety. This will be a particular problem for dogs adopted during the pandemic. Newly adopted or fostered dogs might get the impression that normal life is quarantine life.
How to prevent dogs from biting: https://www.statefarm.com/simple-insights/family/when-your-dog-bites
AVMA: Dog Bite Prevention Week – https://www.avma.org/events/national-dog-bite-prevention-week
Insurance Information Institute: Spotlight on Dog Bite Liability – https://www.iii.org/article/spotlight-on-dog-bite-liability