In 2013, officials reported 32 dog bite-related deaths in the U.S., with more than half of those being children and many others visiting or living temporarily with the dog's owner when the attack occurred.
This is a serious considerations for all Carolina homeowners, but perhaps particularly so for those inviting a new dog into the home for the holidays.
North Carolina was one of the top two states for the number of dog bite fatalities in 2012, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated some 885,000 people are treated in hospital emergency departments each year for dog bites nationwide. Victims incur an estimated $1 billion in medical bills and lost wages, according to the State Farm Times.
Many of these attacks may be covered by homeowners' insurance. Some insurers won't insure certain breeds of dogs, while others will decide it on a case-by-case basis. The Insurance Information Institute reports dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowner insurance liability claims paid out in 2013, costing nearly $500 million. The average cost per claim that year was $27,900 - a 45 percent increase over the last decade.