Michigan had the sixth most dog bite claims in the country 2013, according to claim statistics compiled in a new report from State Farm Insurance. The insurer says there were 162 claims last year, and it paid out nearly four (m) million dollars as a result. California led the nation with 449 claims and 14-point-seven-(m) million dollars in payments.
State Farm estimates there are about four-point-five-(m) million dog bites reported each year in the U-S. In 2013, State Farm paid $104 million as a result of 3,700 dog bite claims. Over the past five years, the insurer has paid $510 million for claims resulting from accidents involving a dog.
While some critics have cited certain breeds for dog-bite problems, the insurer says all dog breeds can bite and "education about responsible pet ownership and how to interact properly with any dog is critically important when it comes to reducing dog bite incidents." The insurer quotes Animal Planet's Victoria Stilwell, who says the most effective way to prevent dog bites is not to ban certain breeds of dog, but to raise awareness of canine behavior through education, as well as encouraging responsible dog ownership.
State Farm says it does not ask the breed of dog owned when writing or renewing homeowner insurance and does not track the breed of dog involved in dog bite incidents.