The Ohio Insurance Institute (OII) sends this double-reminder regarding our four-legged friends. National Dog Bite Prevention Week is May 20-26, which is also the week when the state’s new “vicious dog” law becomes effective.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims paid out in 2011, costing nearly $479 million.
Under Ohio Sub. HB 14 — effective May 22 — pit bulls will no longer be considered vicious dogs solely on their breed and the law eliminates the mandatory liability insurance requirement for dog owners.
Dogs that had been deemed vicious under existing law because of actions, not breed, will still be required to maintain liability insurance coverage of at least $100,000. The new law also clarifies what constitutes a “nuisance dog” and alters the definitions for those considered “dangerous” and “vicious,” along with general confinement requirements on and off-premises.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), US Postal Service and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designate the third week of May annually to educate Americans on dog bite prevention measures while providing tips to dog owners.
According to the State Farm Insurance annual dog bite claims report, Ohio ranks fourth in dog bite claims in 2011. In 2010 Ohio ranked third based on the number of claims.
OII is a trade association representing insurance companies and agent groups for Ohio’s property/casualty industry. Its main objective is to increase understanding of insurance and related safety issues.