Should Texas Legislators Pass Mandatory Dog Insurance?

February 14, 2011

 Texas motorists are required to carry automobile insurance. Should the Texas legislature require dog owners to carry insurance against their pets, too?


Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon (D.-San Antonio) thinks so. In fact, McClendon has introduced a bill that would require any Texan who owns a male dog which weighs 20 pounds or more and is not neutered to have an insurance policy covering injuries or damage caused by that dog when it is off the leash or out of the dog’s yard.


Dog bites are more common than most Americans realize. Americans own 74.8 million dogs according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) and a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determined that roughly 2 percent of Americans, 4.7 million people, are bit annually. In fact, roughly 800,000 require medical attention and 368,000 send victims to the emergency room.


Perhaps most importantly, serious dog bites are on the rise. The Department of Health and Human Services reports that in the last 16 years the number of dog bites resulting in hospitalization have increased 86 percent, from 5,100 in 1993, to 9,500 in 2008. The average cost of treatment was more than $18,000 per patient and the majority of patients were under 5 or over 65. In fact, U.S. dog attack victims suffer more than $1 billion in monetary losses every year!


If you’ve sustained a dog bite, contact the injury experts at Fears | Nachawati. Our dog bite attorneys can help you understand your legal options. Call us at 1.866.705.7584 or send an email to We can help!

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