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Costs of Dog-Bite Claims On The Rise

Dog-bite claims cost the insurance industry $478.9 million dollars last year. This is a 12 percent increase from 2010.

According to Bloomberg News, the attacks account for more than one-third of all liability payouts from home insurers, mostly from medical costs, legal settlements and jury awards.

Most residential insurance policies provide $100,000 to $300,000 in liability coverage for dog bites, according to the Insurance Information Institute. A homeowner responsible for an injury may be required to reimburse the victim for medical costs and lost wages, the group said.

Each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites. Of those injured, about 16 die.

Experts say behavior training and neutering will help reduce the possibility of dog attacks.