Dogs Need Training, Socialization and Responsible Owners

While attacks and bite incidents are not comon for most dog owners, cases are reported every year.

Overall, these instances have highlighted the perils of dog attacks. The real truth is that dog bites are dangerous and potentially costly. Owners could face potential litigation, higher insurance premiums and cancelled policies.

According to a release by the Insurance Informatoin Institute, “dog bites account for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2011, costing nearly $479 million.”

The Insurance Information Institute found “the average cost paid out for dog bite claims was $29,396 in 2011, up 12.3-percent from the previous year.” In fact, another study found that the average cost per claim has risen 53.4 percent since 2003.

Insurers have begun to respond by — in some cases — eliminating coverage, asking policy holders to certify their current status with in-home canines and refusing new policies to persons with a “dog bit claim during a specific period of time, even if that pet is no longer in the home.”

There are preventive measures you can take to make sure you’re not placed in that situation. Here are some tips on how to reduce the risk of dog bites or attacks on humans, per information from the Insurance Information Institute:

    • Consult with a professional to learn about breeds suitable for your household or neighborhood.
    • Spend time with a dog before adopting it.
    • Have your dog spayed or neutered. Studies have shown that dogs are three times more likely to bite if they are not neutered.
    • Socialize your dog so it knows how to act with other people and animals.
    • Discourage children from disturbing a dog that is eating or sleeping.
    • Never approach a strange dog and always avoid eye contact with a dog that appears threatening.
    • Immediately seek professional advice from veterinarians, animal behaviorists, or responsible breeders if your dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors.

If you have questions about your policy, or you are seeking higher liability limits, please call Gunn Mowery at 1-800-840-1243. You can also e-mail us at For more information, become our Facebook fan at

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