Dog bites can be a major insurance liability

Dog bites can be very costly. New data from the Insurance Information Institute shows that dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims paid out last year.

The average claim was more than $29,000 -- up 12 percent from 2010. That's due to increased medical costs, as well as the size of settlements, judgements and jury awards to the victims.

The Insurance Institute says most homeowners and renters insurance policies give you some liability coverage for dog bites.

But if that happens, expect your premiums to go up or that coverage to be dropped.

The best way to protect yourself is to prevent a bite from happening through proper training, being responsible and having your dog spayed or neutered.

Dogs are three times more likely to bite when they are not fixed.

For more information

Dog Bite Liability
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