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6/27/2013 - Dog bites fall in frequency


Instances of dog bites reduced across the country in 2012 from the year before.

While one of the most common types of homeowners insurance claims relates to dog bites, there weren't quite as many in 2012 as there have been in years' past, according to the latest data.

The Insurance Information Institute reports that the number of claims resulting from dog bites fell by 1.4% last year, the first time there have been fewer on a year-over-year basis since 2010. However, what again logged an increase was the cost of these incidents. Insurers spent nearly $490 million to settle these claims, with the average one costing about $29,750 from approximately $29,400 in 2011.

Dog bites appeared to be most common in certain states versus in others. Approximately 451 claims originated from California, based on data compiled by one of the nation's leading insurers, followed by Illinois, Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Children can be especially vulnerable to dog bites, given their inability to detect when a canine may be aggravated. The III reminds parents to be cognizant of their infants and toddlers, ensuring that they never approach a dog that appears threatening in any way.


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