New Jersey residents may be interested to hear that about homeowner liability claims, emphasizing the role that dog bites have on homeowners' insurance rates. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites represent approximately one-third of the amount that is paid out on homeowner insurance liability claims, resulting in approximately $489 million in 2012 alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that approximately 4.7 million dog bites happen every year, with many of the victims being children and postal workers. New Jersey homeowners whose dogs bite other individuals may see an increase in their premiums.
According to these two groups, the average cost that was paid out for a dog bite injury claim in 2012 was about $29,750. State Farm claimed that it paid over $136 million alone to cover approximately 4,500 dog bite injury claims in 2012. These payouts are typically paid under liability insurance programs, which provide coverage if a homeowner's dog bites another person who is visiting the homeowner's property. Dog bites may be covered under the standard coverage, which is usually limited to $100,000 to $300,000.
If a dog bite occurs on the homeowner's property, insurance companies may increase the client's premium. In other cases, the insurance company may exclude the dog from further coverage on the policy, based on the severity of the injuries or the breed of dog.
When dogs bite other individuals who are legally on the property, the homeowner may be found liable for the injuries that result. A New Jersey personal injury attorney may conduct an investigation into a dog bite injury claim to determine if the homeowner knew that the dog had a propensity for violence to help prove that the homeowner had knowledge that an accident of that nature may occur.