State Farm Insurance paid out $109 million for claims relating to dog bites

California Insurance News

Dog BitesLast year, there were a tremendous 3,800 claims filed relating to these pet attacks.

Though the incidents may not make the front page of the newspaper, claims from dog bites have been costing insurance companies millions of dollars each year, as was the case for State Farm last year.

The insurer has released its statistics regarding the animal attacks showing they were far higher than 2010.

According to a spokesperson from State Farm Insurance, Eddie Martinez, this number was up to $109 million in its payouts, from the $90 million it had paid for the 3,500 claims made the year before.

Data from the Insurance Information Institute showed that among all of the insurance companies in the United States, there was almost $479 million paid out as a result of claims from dog bites in 2011. Loretta Worters, spokesperson from the Institute, said that this was a notable increase from the year previous, when it was $413 million.

California saw the largest number of attacks and claims last year, as has been the case in previous years.

Martinez explained that in California alone, there had been 572 claims linked to dog bites, and the victims in those situations received a total payout of about $20.3 million. This was an enormous 31 percent increase over 2010’s total. He went on to say that State Farm is still investigating the numbers in order to try to find out what was behind this tremendous swell.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 4.7 million individuals are bitten by dogs every year, and that about 50 percent of them are kids. Among them, only around 800,000 receive medical care for the bite. Fewer than half of those individuals who seek out the treatment will actually require it, and about 16 people every year will die from having been bitten.

The group at the largest risk of being bitten is kids aged from 5 to 9 years, according to the CDC. The next biggest at-risk group is letter carriers. CDC spokesperson, Richard Maher, said that every year since 2010, approximately 5,600 letter carriers from the U.S. Postal Service suffer dog bites.


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