When your dear dog happens to bite a neighbor and she needs
treatment, what can you do when the question of compensation
Nothing except pay the bill yourself, right? Well, maybe
In Nanjing, capital of east China's Jiangsu Province, you can buy insurance to
cover your compensation fees for other people who might be bitten
by your dogs, according to the Yangtze Evening News, a
Premiums range from 20 yuan (US$ 2.56) to 100 yuan (US$ 12.80) a
year and compensations vary accordingly from 20,000 yuan (US$
2,560) to 100,000 yuan (US$ 12,800).
"Sometimes dog bites can lead to a compensation even more
expensive than the dog itself," said Xu Hui, who, by paying the 100
yuan premium, became the first person in Nanjing to sign up for the
insurance. "Paying so much could be heart-wrenching."
The insurance, launched by China Pacific Insurance Co, is called
Pet Owner Responsibility Insurance. It is currently restricted to
The compensation covers both body damage, meaning death or
deformity caused by dog bites, and medical fees, including rabies
According to the company, only dogs with vaccination licenses
may be covered by the insurance.
While most people welcome the insurance, some residents worry
that dog owners may relax their control over their dogs and dog
bites may become all the more serious.
In Nanjing, a city of 7 million people and about 100,000 dogs,
dog bites have become a serious problem. In the first 10 months of
last year, 15,000 people were hospitalized after being bitten by
dogs. The city averages about 50 dog bites per day.
The victims could be anyone, including children, the elderly and
pregnant women. In the first 10 months of last year, Nanjing No 2
Hospital received more than 14,400 animal-bite patients, 90 percent
of whom were bitten by dogs.
A director from the Nanjing Disease Prevention and Control
Centre said dogs have not only threatened human security, but also
aroused panic, broken good neighborhood relations, polluted the
environment and disrupted the lives of many people.
Insurance for dog bites has also been launched in most of
China's big cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Up to 1 million yuan (US$128,000) worth of premiums has been
collected in Beijing, where 70,000 people reported being bitten by
dogs in the first half of last year.
(China Daily January 11, 2007)