The Chicago Personal Injury Law Blog

Illinois Ranks No. 2 In Dog Bite Claims, Says State Farm

Illinois, the country's fifth most populous state, is ranked as the second state next to California with the highest total payouts and the largest number of dog bite insurance claims made nationally, based on recent report released by Bloomington-based insurer, State Farm.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the insurance company listed the country's top 10 states with the most dog bite claims and the amounts paid out because of such animal attacks. The report showed that State Farm had 317 claims in Illinois last year and paid out a total of $9.7 million for dog bites, while California had 369 dog bite claims in 2010 and left the insurer paying $11.3 million.

But an analysis of State Farm’s numbers conducted by the Chicago Tribune revealed that Florida actually had the highest average cost of claims per incident, which was estimated at $38,356, whereas California and Illinois both had an average claim of about $30,600.

The insurance company’s report, however, did not take into account or reflect the size of the states.

State Farm paid a total of $90 million nationwide for almost 3,500 dog bites last year. While the company does not deny insurance based on the breed of a dog, it does ask policyholders to answer questions concerning their dogs’ history on applications for homeowner’s insurance.

In 2009, insurers in the U.S. paid $412 million in dog bite claims, according to the trade group known as Insurance Information Institute. Thirty-three deaths occurred just last year due to dog bites, including two such incidents in Illinois.

To learn more about dog bites or other animal attacks, visit the Related Resources links below.

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