Car accidents and house fires are two common incidents that can cause large payouts for insurance companies. But over the past decade, over $1 billion has been paid by insurers for claims involving a not-so-obvious accident: dog bites.
State Farm has dealt with their fair share of dog bite claims, both locally and nationally, says agent Gwen Brooks.
“I have, myself, had quite a few dog bite claims. My husband is also a State Farm agent in Rockford and he’s had several dog bite claims,” she says.
Last year, State Farm saw more than 3,100 dog bite claims nationwide — costing the company more than $118 million in claims. The average cost of each was $37,329.
The Land of Lincoln ranks second in the country for the amount of dog bite claims, and according to the U.S. Postal Service, Rockford ranks second in the state for dog bites in a city.
“We see all breeds where these dog bite claims come from. So, it’s just so important to be, you know, careful and cognitive,” Brooks said.
Children need to be especially careful, as they make up more than 50% of all dog bite incidents.
Ironically enough, Brooks has encountered a dog bite accident of her own, involving her daughter — one that shows how serious a dog bite can become.
“She grabbed the dog, even though they told her not to, because she was used to our dogs at home. And the dog bit her. It was a tiny little puncture wound in her finger, but there was a little bacteria on the tooth. So long story short, my daughter ended up in the hospital for three days,” said Brooks.