By Loretta Worters, Vice President, Media Relations, Triple-I
When pet owners return to the workplace or school, pets will be left alone at home. Behavioral problems such as separation anxiety can result in aggressive and destructive behavior. This can be a problem for dogs that were adopted during the pandemic as well as pets that have become accustomed to their pet owner being at home.
March 2020 had the most hundred-related claims, when people first went into lockdown at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to State Farm. Dog bites increased by 21.6 percent compared to the previous March, probably due to dogs that handled ownership stress, disruptions in routines and more people around the house throughout the day. With easing of restrictions on activities outside the home, experts feared it would lead to another peak in bites. The total number of claims increased slightly to 17,989 in 2021 from 17,567 in 2020, which corresponds to more than a third of all claims paid to homeowners and cost $ 881 million.
Dog bite-related injury costs have climbed for several years. The average cost per claim nationally has increased by 39 percent from 2012 to 2021, due to increased medical costs and the upward trend in the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards.
The damage costs are not only attributable to dog bites but also to dogs hitting children, cyclists and the elderly, which can result in costly injuries.
The latest Triple-I dog bite claim figures are released in conjunction with National Dog Bite Prevention Week, an event held each year to help reduce the number of dog bites.
Children are particularly prone to dog bites and are more likely to be seriously injured, so it is important for parents to teach their children to be safe around foreign dogs and their own pets.
Dog training is, of course, the key to preventing dog bites and related injuries for everyone, and National Dog Bite Prevention Week organizers provide many practical tips. This year, dog experts are once again focusing on re-socializing animals that have been isolated with their humans.
Triple-I recommends that you check with your homeowner or rental insurance company to make sure it covers liability for dog bites and related damages. Click here for more information about dog bite liability insurance.
Infographic: National Dog Bite Prevention Week
Focus on dog bite responsibility
Facts about pet insurance