“Will the consequences of your aggressive dog will come back to bite you?” – Gotham Dog Training – Brooklyn Dog Trainer
At first glance one might easily brush this topic off, scoffing to yourself about the “painfully obvious” answer here: of course having an aggressive dog has consequences! However, dog bites especially recently have been seriously affecting more than just the victim. Injuries aside, (as if the cost there wasn’t bad enough!), aggressive dogs are taking a bite out of a lot more than just other people, but their owner’s homeowner insurance as well. So to the dog-loving homeowners and hopeful homeowners of the future, this is for you.
If you own both a dog and a home, then you already know that your liability insurance covers you if a bite occurs in your home or on a walk, with the standard policy limit usually around $100,000. Now at this point most of you are probably saying to yourselves, “Phew we’re in the clear, my insurer didn’t even ask about Fluffy!”. Fair enough. That said, rest assured that if Fluffy does bite, even just once, this is grounds for your insurance company to raise your premium or refuse to cover Fluffy at all.
Now you’re probably wondering, “How often does this scenario play out and what does this mean for me?” Studies from the CDC, Insurance Information Institute and insurance moguls like State Farm, all indicate the number of these incidents are steadily climbing, dragging the cost per claim for owners (particularly in New York) right along with it. Bloomberg News stated that while the average cost per claim for the nation is $27,862, New Yorkers on average end up paying a whopping $43,122 on average for a claim. And just in case you still think you might have dodged this financial bullet, think again! Claims are not just limited to biting incidents, but also are filed for cases where a person is injured when a dog knocks someone down or even scares a person and they fall and get hurt.
These statistics may shock you, and for good reason! But the facts are simple: every year 4.5 million Americans are being bit by dogs, these victims are most likely to be the friend or family member of the owner, and it’s even more likely the victim is a child. This trend may be new to you, but be assured that the public is definitely paying attention. In fact, this pet trend has even earned itself its very own week in May entitled “National Dog Bite Prevention Week”. Unsurprisingly, the foundation of Dog Bite Prevention Week efforts is aimed at protecting and educating pets, owners, and victims from these situations. Of course, one need not limit themselves to the month of May to address these issues, and unanimously it is understood that the solution to prevention of dog aggression begins with solid basic obedience training for all canines and their humans.
For more questions about this topic, or if you have a dog that needs training, give me a call at 800-649-7297!