Every year the insurance industry pays huge amounts of money to settle claims of a surprising nature. One that just came across my desk is dog bite claims. According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurers across the United States paid out nearly $479,000,000 in dog bite claims in 2011. That’s a 16% increase over the national payout estimates from 2010. The institute reported that fully one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims in 2011 were from dog bites. While the average payout has gone up drastically over the past 10 years to roughly $35,000, the number of claims has actually dropped slightly. The top 10 states, in order by number of claims were: California, Illinois, Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida, Indiana, New York and Minnesota.