If you’re thinking about buying a home, or changing insurance providers, make sure you read the fine print. There are several insurance companies that are excluding coverage for your canine companions. They will no longer cover property damage caused by your dog, and they won’t pay for any medical costs should someone get bit.
Insurers and underwriters are watching the numbers, and the numbers are telling them they are paying out well over 400 million dollars a year on dog bite incidents. Hospital emergency rooms see over 365 thousand people a year because of dog bites. It is the fifth leading cause of emergency room visits and accounts for 10 thousand admissions annually.
Most of the people who had to be admitted were young children, usually under five years’ old or senior adults over age sixty five. Additionally, we can’t forget our mail carriers; they account for almost three thousand bites yearly. It’s no wonder that insurance companies are bowing out on protecting homeowners with dogs.
To add insult to injury, over 50 percent of the bites occur at the homeowner’s residence and 77 percent of the victims are family members or friends. The U.S. isn’t the only place where dog bites happen; in Britain, dog bites have risen 43 percent since 2006.
There are numerous factors that could be influencing this rise in dog bites. One possible factor is personal responsibility. The homeowner has a responsibility for their dog; the victim has a responsibility for their actions, and the dog is getting the short end of the stick.