The Chicago Dog Bite Attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. take note of the alarming increase in recent years of payout amounts for claims brought forth under homeowners and renter’s insurance policies for dog bites and dog attacks. According to the National Insurance Institute, the amount paid by insurers for dog bite injury claims have increased from $324.2 Million in 2003, to $489.7 Million in 2012. This represents a nationwide increase of over 50% in the past decade.
When reporting data is delineated by location and insurance provider, the increase in dog bite claims in Illinois is profound when compared with other states. For example, a recent report by State Farm showed that Illinois ranked second in claims paid by that insurer in both 2011 and 2012. Although California ranked first, when adjustments for population are made, Illinois dog bite claim payout totals were still nearly 40% higher. Last year alone, Illinois dog bite claims accounted for 10% of all claims paid by State Farm for dog attack incidents.
In addition, Illinois also ranked amongst the highest in dog bite attacks on postal workers in 2012. According to a 2013 Postal Service study, which compiled a list of the top 10 U.S. cities for dog bite attacks on postal workers, Chicago Illinois was ranked as third, with a total of 41 dog bite incidents occurring in 2012. When compared to the total amount of 2012 dog attacks on postal workers, 5,900, and the fact that there are over 100,000 U.S. cities, this figure is significant considering that many cities with higher or comparable populations did not make the list. Further, Chicago’s 2012 ranking drastically increased from its ranking of 13th in 2011.