Published On: Fri, May 18th, 2012

State Farm Lists Top Ten States for Dog Bite Claims

Indiana ranks in the Top 10 states for dog bite claims

American Humane Association Urges Responsible Pet Ownership

State Farm Lists Top Ten States for Dog Bite ClaimsBloomington, Ill. /PRNewswire/ — Each year, almost five million people are bitten or attacked by dogs. Dog bites are a serious public health problem that can cause both physical and emotional damage to victims and considerable cost to communities.

State Farm® paid more than $109 million as a result of the nearly 3,800 dog bite claims in 2011. The Insurance Information Institute (III) estimates that in 2011, insurers across the country paid nearly $479 million in dog bite claims.

A dog’s tendency to bite depends on such factors as heredity, obedience training, socialization, health, and the victim’s behavior. There are good dogs and bad dogs within every breed, just as there can be responsible and irresponsible owners of each breed. State Farm does not refuse insurance based on the breed of dog a customer owns in any U.S. state.

Top 10 states for State Farm Dog Bite Claims in 2011


Number of claims

Claims paid (estimated)



$20.3 million



$10.0 million



$5.1 million



$5.4 million



$4.9 million



$7.0 million



$5.1 million



$3.5 million

9.New York


$6.1 million



$3.5 million

Children and seniors are frequent victims of dog bites. In fact, more than half of all dog bite victims are children.

“Among children, the rate of dog bite-related injuries is highest for those ages 5 to 9 years,” says Dr. Patricia Olson, Chief Research Officer for American Humane Association. “It is important to note that children are often bitten by a dog in their own household. Thus, supervision by parents and teaching children how to avoid being bitten is crucial for protecting both the child and the dog. Prior to obtaining a dog, future owners should consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to learn what type of dog might be the best match for their family. When a newborn baby arrives, it is important to properly introduce the pet to the infant (a good source of information is When Pet Meets Baby by American Humane Association). While any dog might bite if provoked, it is also important to note that dogs truly do become a child’s best friend.

In addition to stressing responsible pet ownership, State Farm and American Humane Association encourage responsible behavior and caution around dogs, including family pets.  Under the right circumstances, any dog might bite.

  • NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
  • Be on the lookout for potentially dangerous situations.
  • Start teaching young children — including toddlers — to be careful around pets.
  • Children must be taught NOT to approach strange dogs.
  • Always ask permission from a dog’s owner before petting any dog.

For more information about dog bite prevention, visit the State Farm Learning Center or the American Humane Association website.

Related: Dog Owner Liability: Lawsuits Can Take a Bite Out of Your Wallet; Be a Responsible Dog Owner

About State Farm®
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts – more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit or in Canada

About American Humane Association
Since 1877 American Humane Association has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in protecting children, pets and farm animals from cruelty, abuse and neglect. Today we’re also leading the way in understanding the human-animal bond and its role in therapy, medicine and society. American Humane Association reaches millions of people every day through groundbreaking research, education, training and services that span a wide network of organizations, agencies and businesses. You can help make a difference, too. Visit American Humane Association at today.

Source: State Farm Insurance

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