15 States With The Most Dog Bite Claims In 2013

State Farm recently released its top 15 states with the most dog bite claims in 2013, and leading the pack by 140 claims was California. According to the insurer, 449 claims were paid out to a tune of $14.7 million as the result of dog bite attacks last year. That was followed by Illinois (No. 2), where 309 claims racked up $8.9 million in payouts.

At No. 3, Ohio showed considerably less activity with 221 claims ($4.2 million), while Texas was next with 207 claims ($4.0 million). Rounding out the top five, Pennsylvania reported 180 claims; however, the total payouts were more there than in Ohio and Texas at $5.8 million, indicating more serious attacks.


Here’s the full breakdown from State Farm:

1. California 449 claims $14.7 million paid

2. Illinois 309 claims $8.9 million paid

3. Ohio  221 claims $4.2 million paid

4. Texas 207 claims $4.0 million paid

5. Pennsylvania 180 claims $5.8 million paid

6. Michigan 162 claims $3.9 million paid

7. New York 149 claims $6.4 million paid

8. Indiana 146 claims $3.5 million paid

9. Minnesota 120 claims $4.0 million paid

10. Georgia 106 claims $2.1 million paid

11. Arizona 105 claims $2.8 million paid

12. Florida 93 claims $5.5 million paid

13. Oregon 91 claims $1.4 million paid

14. Missouri 88 claims $2.0 million paid

15. New Jersey 86 claims $4.3 million paid


One particularly alarming statistic that the insurer shared was this: in spite of a decrease in the dog population from 2006 to 2011, there were the same amount of dog bite incidents. This demonstrates a worsening negligence on the part of dog owners to exercise responsibility for their animals. And in addition to being potentially fatal — especially for small children, it’s a very costly burden to insurance customers.

The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) estimates that in 2013 alone, more than $483 million in claims were attributed to dog bite incidents. State Farm’s top 15 accounts for about $73.5 million of that.


Other disturbing finds:

The Center for Disease Control points out that dog bites were the 11th leading cause of nonfatal injury to children ages 1-4, 9th for ages 5-9 and 10th for ages 10-14 from 2003-2012.

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported that 26,935 reconstructive procedures were performed in 2013 to repair injuries caused by dog bites.

U.S. Postal Service reports that 5,581 postal employees were attacked by dogs in 2013. Furthermore, children, elderly, and postal carriers are the most frequent victims of dog bites.


Finally, the American Humane Association reports that 66 percent of bites among children occur to the head and neck.

To curb cases of dog bites, State Farm shared the following safety tips that every responsible dog owner should be exercising:

  • Never leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet. Children are often bitten by a dog in their own household.
  • Ask permission before touching or playing with a dog.
  • Remember that any dog can be dangerous and any dog can bite.


In Summary

Everyone thinks their dog wouldn’t hurt another person, but the truth is, as loving as dogs are, dog bites can and do happen across all breeds with great frequency. Your dog may not want to bite someone, but you never can tell what he will be thinking in a given situation, particularly involving a stranger. Protect yourself, your pet, and the innocent by exercising best safety practices.

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