Dog bite claims decrease in Tennessee

Dog bites can be very scary for everyone involved. In the past, insurance companies had seen an increase in dog bite liability claims in Tennessee and throughout the nation. Now, through more awareness and safety efforts, dog bite claims in Tennessee have decreased from 78 to 66 during the last year.

Insurance companies reported that the entire country saw a decrease in dog bite liability claims during 2011 to 2012. They reported that last year, there were 3,670 insurance claims that totaled $108 million. While the total number of claims decreased last year, safety advocates say that it is still important to raise awareness to try and continue to decrease the number of dog bites.

One way organizations are trying to raise awareness is during National Dog Bite Prevention Week, which is this week. Insurance companies are trying to raise awareness over the dangers of dog bites and the legal liability homeowners could face if their dog bites someone.

Dog owners can be held liable if their dog bites someone. Victims of dog bites that require medical attention or treatment can file a lawsuit against the dog's owner to help compensate for their medical expenses. Most home insurance policies cover liability if the dog bite occurred on the owner's property. However, it is important to note that some insurance companies may not cover certain dog breeds or they may require a rider to the insurance policy.

There are also specialty insurance companies that offer dog bite liability coverage for dog owners. Dog owners who do not have homeowner's insurance or who's insurance company refuses to cover their specific dog breed, this type of policy may be a good fit.

Even if dog owners do not have any type of insurance policy that covers dog bite liability, victims of dog bites can still take legal action against the owner to pay for their medical bills and receive compensation for any lost income. That is why it is important to have an insurance policy covering dog bites for people who own dogs or other pets that may attack someone because if they don't and their dog injures someone, they may end up compensating the victims for their injuries and even time off from work.

Source: WGNS, "Number of Dog Bite Incidents in Tennessee is DOWN," May 16, 2013

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