Dog Bite Homeowners Liability Claims Nationwide Increased 18 Percent; California, Florida And New York Lead Nation In Number of Claims

National Dog Bite Prevention Week® Is April 9-15


New York Press Office: (212) 346-5500;

NEW YORK, April 6, 2017 — Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners liability claim dollars paid out in 2016, costing in excess of $600 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm®, the largest writer of homeowners insurance in the United States.


An analysis of homeowners insurance data by the I.I.I. found that the number of dog bite claims nationwide increased to 18,123 in 2016, compared to 15,352 in 2015 -– an 18 percent increase.  The average cost per claim, however, decreased by more than 10 percent. The average cost paid out for dog bite claims was $33,230 in 2016, compared with $37,214 in 2015 and $32,072 in 2014.


“The decrease in the 2016 average cost per claim could be attributed to a decrease in severity of injuries,” said Loretta Worters, a vice president with the I.I.I.  “But the average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 70 percent from 2003 to 2016, due to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs.” 

Estimated Number and Cost of Dog Bite Claims, 2013-2022 (1)


Year Value of claims
($ millions)
Number of claims Average cost
per claim (2)
2013 $483.7 7,359 $27,862
2014 530.8 16,550 32,072
2015 571.3 15,352 37,214
2016 602.2 18,123 33,230
2017 686.3 18,522 37,051
2018 674.9 17,297 39,017
2019 796.8 17,802 44,760
2020 853.7 17,597 50,245
2021 881.9 17,989 49,025
2022 1,136.0 17,597 64,555
Percent change, 2021-2022 28.8% -2.2% 31.7%
Percent change, 2013-2022 134.9% 1.4% 131.7%

(1) Includes other dog-related injuries.
(2) Calculated from unrounded data.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, State Farm®.

View Archived Tables

California continued to have the largest number of claims in the U.S. at 1,934 in 2016, an increase from 1,684 in 2015. California also had the highest claims paid out at $76 million. The state with the second highest number of claims was Florida at 1,325.  The state with the highest average cost per claim was New York, at a whopping $55,671 per claim.

Top 10 States By Estimated Number and Cost of Dog Bite Claims, 2022 (1)


Rank State Number of claims Average cost
per claim
Value of claims
($ millions)
1 California 1,954 $78,818 $154.0
2 Florida 1,331 78,203 104.1
3 Texas 1,017 65,923 67.0
4 New York 969 77,421 75.0
5 Michigan 905 49,502 44.8
6 Pennsylvania 805 66,636 53.6
7 Illinois 729 67,238 49.0
8 Ohio 658 50,692 33.4
9 New Jersey 550 74,837 41.2
10 Georgia 475 61,082 29.0
  Top 10 9,393 $69,323 $651.2
  Other 8,188 $61,199 $501.1
  Total United Stat es 17,583 $64,555 $1,135.1

(1) Includes other dog-related injuries that have impacted claims such as fractures or other blunt force trauma injuries.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, State Farm®.

View Archived Tables


For more state specific information, go to the I.I.I.’s interactive map.


Be A Responsible Dog Owner


National Dog Bite Prevention Week® (April 9-15, 2017), is an annual event designed to provide consumers with information on how to be responsible pet owners while increasing awareness of a serious public health issue. 


Even dogs that are normally docile may bite when they are frightened or when defending their puppies, owners or food. However, the best way to protect yourself is to prevent your dog from biting anyone in the first place. The most dangerous dogs are those that fall victim to human shortcomings such as poor training, irresponsible ownership and breeding practices that foster viciousness.


“The family veterinarian should be the first stop for any pet owner with behavioral concerns, said Dr. Melissa Bain, AVMA member and specialist in animal behavior.  “They can advise you as to whether there is a medical component for which medication may be an appropriate element of an integrated treatment program; and whether or not a referral to a behavior specialist is warranted.”


For dog bite prevention tips, click here or join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #preventdogbites.



The following organizations are committed to educating Americans about dog bite prevention:

American Academy of Pediatrics

American College of Veterinary Behaviorists

American Humane

American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

United States Postal Service (USPS)

Victoria Stilwell Foundation


The I.I.I. has a full library of educational videos on its YouTube Channel. Information about I.I.I. mobile apps can be found here.




Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-5500;


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