Archive for oklahoma city auto insurance

Spotlight on: Dog bite liability

Senior woman with dog inside of her house.

Overview

Almost 90 million dogs are owned as pets in the United States according to a 2017-2018 survey by the American Pet Products Association.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Among children, the rate of dog-bite–related injuries is highest for those 5 to 9 years old. Over half of dog-bite injuries occur at home with dogs that are familiar to us.

Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability legal expenses, up to the liability limits (typically $100,000 to $300,000). If the claim exceeds the limit, the dog owner is responsible for all damages above that amount.

Dog bite liability and homeowners insurance

Some insurance companies will not insure homeowners who own certain breeds of dogs categorized as dangerous, such as pit bulls. Others decide on a case-by-case basis, depending on whether an individual dog, regardless of its breed has been deemed vicious. Some insurers do not ask the breed of a dog owned when writing or renewing homeowners insurance and do not track the breed of dogs involved in dog bite incidents. However, once a dog has bitten someone, it poses an increased risk. In that instance, the insurance company may charge a higher premium, nonrenew the homeowner’s insurance policy or exclude the dog from coverage.

Some insurers are taking steps to limit their exposure to such losses. Some companies require dog owners to sign liability waivers for dog bites, while others charge more for owners of breeds such as pit bulls and Rottweilers and others are not offering insurance to dog owners at all. Some will cover a pet if the owner takes the dog to classes aimed at modifying its behavior or if the dog is restrained with a muzzle, chain or cage.

Homeowners insurance liability claims

  • Homeowners insurers paid out over $686 million in liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries in 2017, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) and State Farm®.
  • An analysis of homeowners insurance data by the I.I.I. found that the number of dog bite claims nationwide increased to 18,522 in 2017 compared to 18,123 in 2016—a 2.2 percent increase.
  • The average cost per claim for the year increased by 11.5 percent. The average cost paid out for dog bite claims nationwide was $37,051 in 2017, compared with $33,230 in 2016. The average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 90 percent from 2003 to 2017, due to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs, which are trending upwards.
  • California continued to have the largest number of claims in the United States, at 2,228 in 2017, an increase from 1,934 in 2016. The state with the second highest number of claims was Florida at 1,345. Florida had the highest average cost per claim at $44,700. The trend in higher costs per claim is attributable not only to dog bites but also to dogs knocking down children, cyclists, the elderly, etc., which can result in injuries that impact the potential severity of the losses.

State and local legislation

Dog owners are liable for injuries their pets cause if the owner knew the dog had a tendency to bite. In some states, statutes make the owners liable whether or not they knew the dog had a tendency to bite; in others, owners can be held responsible only if they knew or should have known their dogs had a propensity to bite. Some states and municipalities have “breed specific” statutes that identify breeds such as pit bulls as dangerous; in others individual dogs can be designated as vicious. At least two states, Pennsylvania and Michigan, have laws that prohibit insurers from canceling or denying coverage to the owners of particular dog breeds. In Ohio, for example, owners of dogs that have been classified as vicious are required to purchase at least $100,000 of liability insurance.

The American Kennel Club reports that while many municipalities have enacted bans on specific breeds, several states have laws barring municipalities and counties from targeting individual breeds.

  • Dog owners’ liability: There are three kinds of law that impose liability on owners:
    1) A dog-bite statute: where the dog owner is automatically liable for any injury or property damage the dog causes without provocation.
    2) The one-bite rule: where the dog owner is responsible for an injury caused by a dog if the owner knew the dog was likely to cause that type of injury—in this case, the victim must prove the owner knew the dog was dangerous.
    3) Negligence laws: where the dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because the dog owner was unreasonably careless (negligent) in controlling the dog.
  • Criminal penalties: On January 26, 2001, two Presa Canario dogs attacked and killed Diane Whipple in the doorway of her San Francisco, California, apartment. Marjorie Knoller, the owner of the dogs, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for keeping a mischievous dog that killed a person. She was sentenced to four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and was ordered to pay $6,800 in restitution. Her husband, Robert Noel, was convicted on lesser charges but also received a four-year prison sentence. Knoller became the first Californian convicted of murder for a dog’s actions. This was only the third time such charges have been upheld in the United States, the first coming in Kansas in 1997.

Charts and graphs

Estimated Number And Cost Of Dog Bite Claims Nationwide, 2003-2017 (1)

Year Value of claims ($ millions) Number of claims Average cost per claim
2003 $324.2 16,919 $19,162
2004 318.9 15,630 20,406
2005 321.1 14,295 22,464
2006 322.4 14,661 21,987
2007 356.2 14,531 24,511
2008 387.0 15,823 24,461
2009 412.0 16,586 24,840
2010 412.6 15,770 26,166
2011 490.8 16,695 29,396
2012 489.7 16,459 29,752
2013 483.7 17,359 27,862
2014 530.8 16,550 32,072
2015 571.3 15,352 37,214
2016 602.2 18,123 33,230
2017 686.3 18,522 37,051
Percent change, 2016-2017 14.0% 2.2% 11.5%
Percent change, 2003-2017 111.7% 9.5% 93.4%

(1) Includes other dog-related injuries.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, State Farm®.

View Archived Tables

Top 10 States With Estimated Number And Cost Of Dog Bite Claims, 2017 (1)

Rank State Number of claims Average cost per claim Value of claims ($ millions)
1 California 2,228 $40,563 $90.4
2 Florida 1,345 44,700 60.1
3 Pennsylvania 1,002 26,486 26.5
4 New York 957 43,479 41.6
5 Ohio 932 24,795 23.1
6 Texas 929 35,562 33.0
7 Illinois 901 36,844 33.2
8 Michigan 734 38,798 28.5
9 New Jersey 686 43,652 29.9
10 Minnesota 486 29,873 14.5
Top 10 10,200 $37,346 $380.9
Other states 8,322 $36,690 $305.3
Total United States 18,522 $37,051 $686.3

(1) Includes other dog-related injuries that have impacted claims such as fractures or other blunt force trauma injuries.

Source: Insurance Information Institute, State Farm®.

View Archived Tables

NUMBER OF U.S. HOUSEHOLDS THAT OWN A PET, BY TYPE OF ANIMAL

(millions)

Pet Number
Dog 60.2
Cat 47.1
Freshwater fish 12.5
Bird 7.9
Small animal 6.7
Reptile 4.7
Horse 2.6
Saltwater fish 2.5

Source: American Pet Products Association’s 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey.

View Archived Tables

TOTAL NUMBER OF PETS OWNED IN THE UNITED STATES, BY TYPE OF ANIMAL

(millions)

Pet Number
Freshwater fish 139.3
Cat 94.2
Dog 89.7
Bird 20.3
Saltwater fish 18.8
Small animal 14.0
Reptile 9.4
Horse 7.6

Source: American Pet Products Association’s 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey.

View Archived Tables

© Insurance Information Institute, Inc. – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Tesla Motor Model 3 Sedan

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“Boii-oiii-oiiii-nnnng”

 (That’s the Sound Spring Makes)

Displaying Considering the winter we’ve just been through (and some would say it’s not quite over), nearly everyone is breathing a sigh of relief now that Spring is here! Warmer months DO bring less severe road and driving conditions. However, there are stillvehicle maintenance, insurance, and driving tips that can save time, money, and even lives.

 
For starters, don’t jump the gun at the first sign of warm weather. Water on roadways can freeze at night long after the last snowfall—especially at high altitudes and in far northern climes. If you drive on winter tires, a good piece of advice, according to reliable sources, is to wait till temperatures stay above 45-degrees (F) before shedding snow tires for good.
 
But you shouldn’t wait on ALL things. For example, check your tires and windshield wiper blades before spring rains start to fall to be sure that they’re up to their respective tasks. For tires, the penny test should tell you whether you’ve got enough tread depth to clear away water. And to ensure good visibility in a wide range of conditions, be sure to check windshield wiper blades and replace them if they’re worn, or leave streaks.
 
And as weather turns from temperate to downright hot, perform routine checks and maintenance on the stuff that keeps the “hot side hot and the cool side cool,” such as radiators and cooling systems; batteries and electrical systems; and air conditioning.  

Watch and Learn:
A “Hole” lot of useful information on potholes and insurance: 

ALL SOURCES OF INFORMATION:

Uninsured Motorist Coverage in Oklahoma

 

Did You Know: In Oklahoma, if you are hit by an uninsured or under-insured motorist, the damage to your car is not covered under this coverage….you’ll need Collision Coverage to pay for the damage to your vehicle! Learn what Von has to say about this important coverage.

  • Activities that take drivers’ attention off the road, including talking or texting on mobile devices, eating, conversing with passengers and other distractions, are a major safety threat.

  • In 2014, 3,179 people died in distraction-affected crashes, based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) criteria.

  • The number of state legislatures passing measures that address the problem of driver distractions continues to rise. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia ban the use of hand-held cellphones while driving; 46 states and the District of Columbia have banned the practice of texting while driving.

  • A 2012 Consumer Reports survey found that 71 percent of respondents cut back on texting, talking on a handheld phone or using a smartphone while driving in the previous year. Over 50 percent of them said they were influenced to change their behavior because of state laws, up from 44 percent in a survey conducted in 2011.

 

DRIVER HAND-HELD CELLPHONE USE BY AGE, 2005-2014 (1)

(1) Percent of drivers using hand-held cellphones.

 Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION:

2016 TOP SAFETY PICK+

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s 2016 TOP SAFETY PICK+ award goes to… the redesigned Toyota Prius.

Is my road rage affecting anyone?

Time for the kids to go outside to enjoy this lovely spring weather. Let us all keep in mind how fast we are going as we approach any high traffic areas! #‎selfawareness‬ ‪#‎nomorespeeding‬ ‪#‎kidszone‬ 

NHTSA's photo.

5 mph – the difference between hit or miss. Stop speeding before it stops you.

Posted by NHTSA on Monday, March 28, 2016

Statewide Insurance Agency Presents

2016 Spring Maintenance Guide for Your Home

The rising cost of home insurance in Oklahoma has all of us looking for cheap home insurance or ways to lower your homeowners insurance cost without sacrificing quality coverage.  

Did you know that almost all reputable home insurance companies in Oklahoma perform an exterior inspection of your home after you accept a quote or policy and sometimes again at the policy renewal?  A poorly maintained home will often result in an Oklahoma homeowner having to accept a home policy or home insurance company that is inferior to others on the market.  

When springtime rolls around in Oklahoma almost everyone thinks of cleaning. That’s fine (we probably all need to do a little more of that, after all), but there’s something even more important to keep in mind: home maintenance.

So, when it’s time to set your clocks ahead for daylight-saving time and change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, give your home a checkup, too. Here are some suggestions from the Department of Housing and Urban Development:


Interior and appliances

  • Check the basement and/or crawlspace for any signs of standing water or dripping.
  • Pull your dryer out and clean the exhaust hose and vent (lint found here is a common cause of house fires).
  • Vacuum refrigerator/freezer coils for efficiency.
  • Clean exhaust fan outlets and screens.
  • Check all air filters and replace, if necessary.

Roof, siding, windows

  • Check for damage to your roof and have a professional inspection, if necessary.
  • Go into the attic. If there is visible moisture or discoloration, your roof might be leaking.
  • Examine the paint on your siding and trim. If it is peeling, you might need new paint to protect against the effects of weather.
  • Check for leaks around window and door sills. Improving your seals can lower your energy bills.

Yard and exterior

  • Check for signs of rodents and other pests.
  • Clean debris from gutters and downspouts, and make sure they are draining away from the home.
  • Trim overhanging tree branches and shrubs.

Remember, winter weather can cause significant damage that is easy to spot, but it often results in wear and tear that homeowners can miss if they aren’t looking closely. It’s well worth it to spend a little time on home maintenance this spring, so that wear and tear doesn’t turn into something more serious.

 

Mapping the Future to Great Coverage

Serving: Bethany | Choctaw | Del City | Edmond | Guthrie | Midwest City | Moore | Norman | OKC | Stillwater | Tulsa | Yukon

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Please keep Statewide Insurance Agency in mind as your home insurance and auto insurance needs change. Cheap home insurance is available with great service, top companies and quality coverages…. it’s what we offer every day!

 

Click play on the video above for more info

Saving Money on Auto Insurance – Auto insurance is a necessity, but it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. This video includes 5 simple steps to saving money on Auto Insurance. We’ve also included more tips for cutting insurance costs below.

Shop Around – The easiest way to save on high risk auto insurance is shopping around. Obtain as many auto insurance coverage quotes as possible. Since there are a myriad of alternatives accessible in the insurance marketplace today, you have the luxury of comparing different rates and opting for the most affordable option.

Take Control Of Your Rates – Being in control of your rates can also help lower the cost of car insurance. Tickets as well as accidents which are no longer paid for should be taken off the coverage at the right time. Each time changes are made to your status, obtain a few quotes and compare the different rates. Perhaps, you will be able to find a plan that allows you to save.

Buy A Cheap Car – The more expensive a car is, the more you will pay in insurance premiums.

Cover Less Miles In A Year – Try to keep your mileage to the minimum. Drivers who cover less than 10,000 miles in a year are more likely to qualify for reduced insurance rates. The more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to be involved in an accident.

Park Your Car In A Safe Area – Burglary and accidental damages are just some of the factors that can increase your insurance premiums. Cars parked inside a garage or on a driveway are less likely to be broken into or damaged which results in a 4% to 6% decline in insurance costs.

Exercise Caution While Driving – Careless driving will result in additional points in your license. As a result, you will be expected to pay more in insurance premiums. Whereas points attributed to speeding tends to remain on a driver’s license for at least 4 years, insurance companies will confirm if there have been convictions in the past 5 years prior to deleting them from your record.

Install Security Systems In Your Car – Installing security systems, for example, car alarms and anti-lock brakes in your car can also help in lowering your risks.

Avoid Making Changes to Your Car – Do not make changes to your car before informing your insurance provider. Modifications refer to anything that will alter the original specifications, for example, fitting allow rims.

Call Statewide Insurance Agency today for more information on saving money on your Oklahoma car insurance quotes, or visit us online to receive a no-obligation quote.

 

Is My Newly Acquired Vehicle Covered?

Customers often tell us they are buying a new car and ask if they need to call us before they drive it off the lot.  Usually, if you currently have Comprehensive and Collision coverage on any vehicle on your policy and if the insurance company insures all your vehicles, physical damage coverage will automatically transfer to the newly acquired vehicle for a temporary period.  Therefore, problems arise when you are carrying Liability Coverage only on all your vehicles and you need physical damage coverage (Comprehensive and Collision) on the new vehicle.  Problems also arise when you are using 2 or more insurance companies to provide your personal auto insurance coverage.  Be safe and ask your agent how your policy addresses this issue.