Dog-Related Injury Claims Continue to Increase; Average Payout Declines

By Max Dorfman, Research Writer, Triple-I

Insurers paid $1.12 billion in dog-related injury claims in 2023, according to research by Triple-I and State Farm.  

The total number of dog-bite and related claims was 19,062 in 2023 – an increase of more than 8 percent from 2022 and a rise of 110 percent over the past 10 years. 

However, the average cost per claim decreased from $64,555 in 2022 to $58,545 in 2023. California, Florida, and Texas had the most claims.  

“Education and training for owners and pets is key to keeping everyone safe and healthy,” said Janet Ruiz, director of strategic communications at Triple-I.   

“As the largest property insurer in the country, State Farm is committed to educating people about pet-owner responsibility and how to safely interact with dogs,” added Heather Paul, media relations specialist at State Farm. “It is important to recognize that any dog, including ones that are in the home, can bite or cause injury.” 

During Dog Bite Prevention Week (April 7 – 13), a coalition of veterinarians, animal behavior experts, and insurance representatives urge people to understand the risks dog bites pose to people and other pets and the steps required to prevent bites from happening.    

“Dogs are not just pets; they are beloved members of our households, providing joy, companionship, and comfort in our lives,” said Dr. Rena Carlson, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). “Together, we can nurture the bonds we share with our dogs and ensure the safety of our families and communities.” 

Tips to prevent dog bites 

All dogs – even well-trained, gentle dogs – can bite when provoked, especially when eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies. Therefore, it is essential to keep both children and dogs safe by preventing bites wherever possible. The National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition provides the following tips:  

  • Make sure your pet is healthy. Not all illnesses and injuries are obvious, and dogs are more likely to bite if they are sick or in pain. If you haven’t seen a veterinarian in a while, schedule an appointment for a checkup to discuss your dog’s physical and behavioral health.  
  • Prioritize proper socialization: Socialization involves gently introducing your dog to a range of settings, people, and other animals, and ensuring these experiences are positive. Whether it’s quietly observing the bustle of a park, meeting new people in a controlled manner, or getting used to the sights and sounds of your neighborhood, each positive experience builds confidence. Remember, socialization is a lifelong journey, not just a puppy phase. 
  • Take it slow. If your dog has been mainly interacting with your family since you brought them home, don’t rush out into crowded areas or dog parks. Try to expose your dogs to new situations slowly and for short periods of time, arrange for low-stress interactions, and look for behaviors that indicate your dog is comfortable and happy to remain in the situation. 
  • Understand your dog’s needs and educate yourself in positive training techniques. Recognize your dog’s body language and advocate for them in all situations. This will give your dog much needed skills and help you navigate any challenges you might encounter.  
  • Be responsible about approaching other people’s pets. Ask permission from the owner before approaching a dog and look for signs that the dog wants to interact with you. Sometimes dogs want to be left alone, and we need to recognize and respect that.  
  • Make sure that you are walking your dog on a leash and recognize changes in your dog’s body language indicating they may not be comfortable. 
  • Always monitor your dog’s activity, even when they are in the backyard at your own house, because they can be startled by something, get out of the yard and possibly injure someone or be injured themselves. 

Join the discussion on Facebook Live April 11 

To assist in these efforts, members of the National Dog Bite Prevention Week Coalition—which includes the AVMA, State Farm®, Triple I, and Victoria Stilwell Positively—will be hosting a Facebook Live event on Thursday, April 11, at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. 

The event, moderated by certified animal behavior consultant and broadcaster Steve Dale, will discuss training tips to help prevent bites, how to safely socialize your dog after a period of isolation, and how to recognize the warning signs that a dog may bite. In addition, the coalition will be releasing the latest dog-related injury claims data. The panelists will also be answering questions submitted by the public during the event.  


Article: Spotlight On: Dog Bite Liability 

Facts and Statistics: Pet Ownership and Insurance 

Infographic: National Dog Bite Prevention Week 

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