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Old 08-28-2007, 12:57 PM   #1
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Thumbs down Homeowners insurance and "dangerous dogs"

If you live in the US and are NOT in one of the few states that has made it illegal for insurance companies to cancel your insurance because you own what they think is a "dangerous" breed, you may want to shop around for another carrier.
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Margie Foshe was stunned when, without warning, her homeowner’s insurance policy from Rockford Mutual was cancelled. After all, she paid her premiums on time. She did make two claims (totaling under $3,000 for gutter and swimming pool repairs) several years back. Foshe was “amazed” to read the company’s explanation for non-renewal: “Pit bulls are not allowed.”

Although Foshe admits that her dog, Mocha, does have features common to pit bulls, he’s not actually a pit bull. That explanation fell on deaf ears. Also, Foshe was told that even though 5-year-old Mocha has never been involved in a claim and never been accused of being a problem is “irrelevant.”
http://www.legacy.com/Newsday/Pets/P...79&GroupId=201

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Mary Ellis, who has owned Siberian huskies for 25 years, was incensed when her insurer canceled its policy on her Bridgewater home even though, she said, she had never filed a claim and her dogs had never bitten anyone. Ellis was told by Commerce Insurance Company that her five huskies, a breed described by the American Kennel Club as ''friendly and gentle," made her a risky customer.
http://www.boston.com/business/artic..._in_dog_fight/

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In the Spring of 2003, I moved from Virginia to Texas to begin work as a tenure-track faculty member at Texas Tech University School of Law. I brought my two dogs with me: Saffy (a 4-year-old mixed breed whose parents were a fluffy red Chow Chow and a big black Labrador Retriever) and Semona (a 2-year-old Rottweiler). Neither Semona nor Saffy has ever bitten anyone. Neither has shown any aggressive tendencies. Both are extremely playful and friendly animals.

After I placed a bid on a house in Lubbock, Texas, I began the search for homeowners' insurance-a process which I thought would be straightforward and easy. Much to my surprise, dozens of insurance companies denied my application outright. The reason? Semona is a Rottweiler and Saffy is half-Chow. Rottweilers and Chow Chows are on the "blacklist" of dog breeds. Some insurance companies believe they, along with Pit Bulls, Huskies, Doberman Pinchers, and other specified breeds, are more likely to bite humans and, in turn, cause liability claims to be brought against their owners. Even mixed breeds, like my half-Chow Saffy, are blacklisted. This practice is known by many dog owners as "breed discrimination."
http://www.animallaw.info/articles/a...ingham2005.htm

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During 2003 and 2004, the media brought breed discrimination to light. The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather aired a story in June of 2003 that featured a family that had difficulty obtaining insurance because they owned a Dalmatian.
http://www.animallaw.info/articles/arus11conninslj1.htm

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The Pattens thought they were insurance-savvy, avoiding homeowner's claims by paying for repairs and household accidents.

But a month ago, Mathew Patten and Wiccan York-Patten discovered that they had been dropped by their insurer two months earlier because of the family pet, an aging German shepherd named Allison.

Allison had never hurt anybody, but the insurance company deemed her an "unacceptable liability exposure."

Not only because she is a dog, but because she is a German shepherd.
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/...surance15.html

Unfortunately it looks like the list of such states is very short. The good news is that it is growing, although very slowly. In some cases state legislators are considering bills that would also prohibit insurance companies from charging higher premiums for so-called "dangerous breeds".

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/rpt/2005-R-0399.htm

What is not clear is whether state legislatures can do anything about restrictions on renting such as this:
http://www.lewisop.com/Houses-for-re...Dog-Breeds.pdf

"Blacklisted" breeds can include Pit Bulls, Alaskan Malamutes, Rottweilers, Akitas, Chows, American Staffordshire Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Boxers, German Shepherds, Great Danes, Siberian Huskies, Wolf-hybrids, and Presa Canarios, among others, as well as mixes of these breeds. If in doubt, check your state laws OR your insurance carrier. Some (such as State Farm) do not have any breed-specific exemptions for eligibility.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:10 AM   #2
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What is the world coming to? How would they even know you own a pitbull?
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:34 AM   #3
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We have not ever been dropped cause of Tyson.. *knock on wood* But here in Florida there is alot of things going on with Insurance stuff.. So I worry bout it.. for my mom's sake!
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:16 PM   #4
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Oh brother...The wife and I are making plans to visit a rescue this week end... This couls really be a deal killer.



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Old 08-30-2007, 10:23 PM   #5
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I've been searching the web and have found many instances where insurance companies would not re-new homeowners policies because of the owners breed of dog. In many of these instances these people never disclosed to the insurer that they even had a dog. Many times they were denied renewal based only on the fact that their dog LOOKED like a "dangerous dog breed." It is ridiculous. I won't lie, this makes me very concerned and worried.

I read that even though most insurance companies have a "black list" of breed, many will insure the dog if it has a Canine Good Citizens certification. This apparently varies from state to state.




I guess maybe we migh be rethinking our trip to visit the dogs at the rescue this weekend.

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Old 08-31-2007, 10:13 AM   #6
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How about you think about switching from Nationwide to State Farm?
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Old 08-31-2007, 01:42 PM   #7
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The major problem is that I am in Ohio. Ohio has some of the strictest laws regarding Pit Bulls. The law make it so easy for the insurance companies to discriminate.

There is a tiny bit of hope... I talked with my insurance agent at lunch today... I can't get the liability coverage but they also won't terminate my existing policy if there is a Pit in the house. Basically I still (by law, and for asset protection) need to find someone who will issue a liability policy for the dog. Probably ridiculously expensive but entirely possible. I'll post more once I get home from work.

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Old 12-07-2007, 09:51 PM   #8
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Exclamation Dangerous Dog Breed Truth

What a load of bullocks. There is no such thing as a dangerous dog, in this country (UK) or any other. It's all down to owners, and it's well known that the majority of "dangerous dogs breed" attacks are caused by the owners - who, because of thier own short failing in the "machoism" area, got out and buy themselves a dog that is 'rumoured' to have a fighting streak in it's ancestry in an attempt to portray themselves as 'hard' because they can then claim "My dog is harder than your dog!"

Where the true reality is these arrogant people go and get a breed originated for fighting/protection and then get it to behave nasty which in turn does destroys the breeds creditability.

But mainly the reason they buy these dogs is purely because they need to have something with bigger balls than they have...

These are my views, and if you dont like them, then it's tuff luck because absolutely nothing will make me change my mind.

AMENDED: This is not to say I think this of all Pitbull owners, I should have stated this. Sorry applesmom for not putting this across earlier. It was intended, just forgotten. I do know of a few (that have escaped the compulsory destruction order a few years ago, and even now despite it being illegal to own a pitbull in this country). Pitbulls and Pitbull-X's that are beautiful because their owners know how to treat a dog. Sorry to any offence taken to my previous post by any credible pitbull owners. (eg. Daddy, Ceaser Milan's Pitbull [THE DOG WHISPERER])
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You got to understand that your dog DOES NOT love you. It is incapable of loving you. It is only a dog. It is our human need to read emotions from body language that blinds us to this. Dog's body language is different to that of our own, as it is different to that of other animals. What humans interpret as love from thier dogs is more often than not just the dog saying "I Respect You".

Last edited by AlaskanMalamute; 12-11-2007 at 03:27 PM.. Reason: Forgot somthing inportant (see AMMENDED)

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Old 12-07-2007, 10:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AlaskanMalamute View Post
What a load of bullocks. There is no such thing as a dangerous dog, in this country (UK) or any other. It's all down to owners, and it's well known that the majority of "dangerous dogs breed" attacks are caused by the owners - who, because of thier own short failing in the "machoism" area, got out and buy themselves a dog that is 'rumoured' to have a fighting streak in it's ancestry in an attempt to portray themselves as 'hard' because they can then claim "My dog is harder than your dog!"

Where the true reality is these arrogant people go and get a breed originated for fighting/protection and then get it to behave nasty which in turn does destroys the breeds creditability.

But mainly the reason they buy these dogs is purely because they need to have something with bigger balls than they have...

These are my views, and if you dont like them, then it's tuff luck because absolutely nothing will make me change my mind.
Comments like this always make me pause and wonder if there's any actual documentation or statistics for the argument that dogs involved in serious attacks really have been abused and taught to be mean. It would seem that if the media got wind of such a thing in a story, they'd be on it like a dog on a bone.

I also wonder if there's any documentation to refute the claims of "he never did anything like this before".

In the case of the little girl who was mauled to death, the media did report that the dog had previously been declared dangerous, but the only mention of any actual abuse was heresay from the grandmother who had ample reason to deflect part of the guilt to another human.

There have also been reports of dogs that have mauled someone while they were chained up, but chaining alone doesn't necessarily constitute abuse or always make a dog prone to attack.
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Old 12-08-2007, 09:45 AM   #10
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I'm curious to know if there is anything similar going on in the UK. Can homeowner's insurance be denied or restricted based on a breed of dog that you own or that your insurance company thinks you own?
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