Aspen Claims Service

New Illinois Law Mandates That Insurers Report All Dog Bite Claims

 Friday, September 2, 2022

 Matthiesen, Wickert & Lehrer, S.C.

It’s a great trivia question. Which state has the most dog bite claims? The answer probably won’t surprise you -- California, with 2,103 insurance claims in 2020, followed by Florida, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois.

What may surprise you, however, is that as recently as 2016, despite being 7th on the bite list, the state with the highest amount paid out in settlement of dog bite claims was Illinois.

In 2016, State Farm alone paid out $14 million for Illinois dog-related claims, second only to California. Perhaps this is what motivated State Farm to label dog bites as a ‘serious public health problem.’

In 2018 alone, State Farm paid $90 million in claims on roughly 3,500 dog bite incidents. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for an astonishing one-third (1/3) of all homeowner’s liability claim dollars paid out in 2017, costing almost $700 million.

This isn’t chump change any more, and subrogation professionals need to take a serious look at pursuing subrogation in all cases involving dog bites.
LiabilityLegislation & Regulation
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