U.S. insurers paid out more than $1 bn in dog-related injury claims

U.S. insurers paid out more than $1 bn in dog-related injury claims in 2022, a double-digit percentage increase over 2021 even though the number of claims decreased within that timeframe, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) and State Farm.

The 2.2% decrease in claims for dog bites and dog-related injury claims in 2022 underscores the progress of educating dog owners to take responsibility for their beloved pets

Janet Ruiz, Director, Strategic Communications, Triple-I

Total cost of these claims increased by 28% in 2022 to $1.13 bn, with an average cost per claim rising by 32%, to $64,555.

Triple-I is marking National Dog Bite Prevention Week again this year along with the American Humane Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, Positively Victoria Stillwell, and State Farm.

Educating dog owners about being responsible will reduce dog-related injuries because, under the right circumstances, any dog might bite

To reduce the likelihood of dog bites, dog owners are encouraged to:

  • Know your dog’s triggers of aggression
  • Keep your dog secured at home if the dog consistently overreacts to visitors
  • Begin your dog’s training sessions early

Pedestrians and others encountering dogs with whom they are unfamiliar should:

  • Never approach a barking, growling, or scared dog
  • Ask the dog’s guardian for permission before petting their dog
  • Avoid leaving children aged 10 and younger alone with a dog
number of dog-related injury claims nationwide dropped

The number of dog-related injury claims nationwide dropped to 17,597 in 2022, having stood at 17,989 in 2021.  The cost of 2021’s U.S. insurance claims for this type of incident totaled $882 million and the average cost per claim in that year was $49,025.

More than a third of the nation’s dog-related injury claims in 2022 were filed in five states, the Triple-I and State Farm estimate. California (1,954 claims), Florida (1,331), Texas (1,017), New York (969), and Michigan (905) topped the list, in that order.  

Top 10 States By Estimated Number and Cost of Dog Bite Claims, 2022

RankStateNumber of claimsAverage costValue of claims
per claim($ mn)
4New York96977,42175.0
9New Jersey55074,83741.2
 Top 109,393$69,323$651.2
 Total United Stat es17,583$64,555$1,135.1
Source: Triple-I

How much compensation can you get for a dog bite?

There are no set compensation amounts when claiming for a dog bite injury, as each case is different. When you make your claim, you will be assessed based on the seriousness of your injury, the long-term impacts on your life and any financial losses you’ve suffered.

Can I claim compensation for a dog attack?

In most cases, your claim would be made against the dog owner. Most owners will have pet insurance that will cover them for claims made against them if their dog causes somebody a personal injury. If they don’t have pet insurance, their home insurance policy will potentially cover a claim for a dog bite.

Dog Bites Can Cause Serious Injuries

  • Puncture wounds.
  • Broken bones.
  • Eye injuries.
  • Scars.
  • Head and Neck Injuries.
  • Face Injuries.

Does dog insurance cover attacks?

Third party liability cover means dog owners are covered if property is damaged, or someone is injured, falls ill or is killed, as a result of an incident involving your dog.

What is considered a serious dog bite?

A dog bite is serious when there is a potential for infection, excessive blood loss, or damage to the nerves, ligaments, and muscles. A dog bite wound is especially concerning if the animal has not been vaccinated.

by Yana Keller