According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), nearly 4.5 million dog bites occur each year. Sadly, any dog can bite and many people do not know how to recognize an impending bite incident and have no idea how to actively minimize a bite. According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm, dog bites and dog-related injuries accounted for more than one third of all homeowners liability claim dollars paid out in 2017, costing almost $700 million. The average cost paid out for dog bite claims was $37,051 in 2017. That’s up 93.4% from 2003.
But dog bites and dog-related injuries are even more costly to businesses. The US Postal Service alone had more than 6,200 employees suffer from dog bites in 2017. A Commercial General Liability policy will cover the associated costs with dog bites for business owners, but generally will not cover the costs associated with reputational damages, such as crisis communication efforts to combat negative media attention. If a dog bite happens on a business property, a lawsuit can almost always be expected. The largest dog bite settlement in state history occurred in Illinois in 2013, for a whopping $1.1 million. A dog bite for a business goes beyond just the insurance claim. Time off, sick leave, a disruption to the workplace environment, medical treatments, etc. stack up to tens of thousands of dollars for a single dog bite.
Educate your work force and provide dog bite prevention training as part of a comprehensive dogs in the workplace program, to make sure your workplace is dog safe.