The number of insurance claims by dog owners because of biting has grown and so has the cost of those claims.
”In some cases, we are seeing that the average cost of a dog bite claim has risen by 53 percent since 2014. That is a massive cost and a big cost to homeowners,” said Nick VinZant, senior research analyst for QuoteWizard.
In 2021 alone, there were more than 1,000 dog bite claims in Texas.
With the average cost of those claims being $40,000, it forced insurance companies to pay out more than $40 million.
And it doesn’t just impact them.
”If your dog bites someone, it could raise your rates, or they could drop your coverage entirely,” said VinZant.
Insurance isn’t the only thing you have to worry about.
”You need to be aware that your dog, although we love our animals and they are a part of our family, your dog is your property because you are responsible for it,” said Allison O’Connor, spokesperson for the City of Temple.
If your dog does bite someone, it is better to report it yourself, and right away to your local animal services because there are things that you need to do that you do not want to wait on.
Things like a mandatory 10-day quarantine of the animal at a vet of your choosing, but Animal Services needs be notified first.
”We recommend quarantining and just keeping your animal inside until Animal Services can come and chat with you and understand more of what happened in the situation,” said O’Connor.
Reporting the incident does not mean your dog will be taken away. Under some circumstances, the quarantine can be done at home.
If you do not report it and someone seeks medical attention for the bite, doctors are required to report it themselves.
If you refuse to quarantine your dog with a vet, you can be fined for every day it is out of quarantine.
Each case is different and can have different outcomes that may lead to civil court or criminal charges, although most do not.