Dog bite insurance payouts are soaring

Dog Bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners liability pay outs last year.
Dylan Murphy | Getty Images
Dog Bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners liability pay outs last year.

Dogs may not be growing more vicious, but getting bitten costs a lot more than in the past.

Dog bites and other canine-related injuries accounted for $530 million in homeowners insurance liability claim payments last year—more than one-third of total U.S. homeowner claim payouts, according to an analysis by the Insurance Information Institute. While total dog bite claims fell nearly 5 percent from 2013, the average cost per claim jumped 15 percent.

Going back to 2003, claims have dropped 2 percent, but cost per claim has soared 67 percent. (Tweet this)

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"The average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 67 percent from 2003 to 2014, due to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs, which are still on the upswing," said Loretta Worters, vice president of the III, in a release.

The average payout for dog bite claims rose to $32,072 from $27,862 in 2013 due to rising medical fees, among other factors.

California had the most dog-related claims in the U.S. with 1,867. New York racked up the highest cost per claim at $56,628.