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California Going To the Dogs...State Leads Nation in Dog Bite Claims


LOS ANGELES, May 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In 2011, State Farm California had 527 dog bite claims and paid more than $20.3 million as a result. That represents a 31 percent increase in claims over 2010. 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.

Top 10 States for State Farm Dog Bite Claims in 2011


Number of claims

Claims paid (estimated)

1.     California


$20.3 million

2.     Illinois


$10.0 million

3.     Texas


$5.1 million

4.     Ohio


$5.4 million

5.     Pennsylvania


$4.9 million

6.     Michigan


$7.0 million

7.     Florida


$5.1 million

8.     Indiana


$3.5 million

9.     New York


$6.1 million

10.  Minnesota


$3.5 million

State Farm® nationally 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.

It's not the breed, it's the bite is one of the reasons that State Farm recognizes National Dog Bite Prevention Week May 20-26, 2012.

Avoiding The Bite

Children and seniors are frequent victims of dog bites. In fact, more than half of all dog bite victims are children. In addition to stressing responsible pet ownership, State Farm and the 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 American Humane Association.

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 http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.

SOURCE State Farm

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