According to information released by the Insurance Information Institute, personal injuries from dog bites accounted for a third of all homeowners insurance liability claims in 2008.


The statistics say that last year, attacks cost insurers $387.2 million, an increase of 8.7 percent from $356.2 million in 2007. Since 2003, the average dog-bite claim has seen an increase of nearly 28 percent from $19,162 to $24,461, partially due to increased medical costs and more costly court decisions.


During 2008, the number of claims saw an increase of nearly nine percent from 14,531 to 15,823. More than half of the bites occurred on the dog owner’s property.


According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 4.5 million Americans suffer dog bites per year, nearly 900,000 of which require medical attention. Approximately half of those dog bites happen to children. In 2006, more than 31,000 dog bite victims had to undergo reconstructive surgery.

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