Two of the three states in our area are among the worst when it comes to dog-related injury claims. Illinois comes in second while Indiana is ninth in those claims, according to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.
The foundation says about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. 50 percent of all reported dog bites are male. 20 percent of bite victims require medical attention.
State Farm Insurance paid $132 million as a result of 3,600 dog-related injury claims across the U.S. In Indiana 124 claims were made last year resulting in $4.6 million paid for these claims. Illinois reported 318 claims and $12.6 million in insurance money.
The following tips are recommended to keep people safe from dog bites:
- Learn canine body language. Too often people misunderstand or miss signals that a dog is uncomfortable.
- Give dogs space. Dogs can feel threatened when strange people touch them, so take pressure off by giving them the choice to come into your space first to say hello.
- Be humane. Dogs that are raised and trained humanely are more confident and less likely to bite than dogs that are trained using punitive methods or equipment designed to intimidate and cause pain.
- Homeowners should talk to their insurance agent about coverage under a standard homeowner policy. Pet owners should consider a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy (PLUP) to provide extra coverage in case their dog does bite someone. Renters should consider getting renters insurance because most landlords do not provide coverage should there be a dog bite incident