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Denied Insurance Due to Dog Breed?

Shamrock
June 13th, 2006, 05:59 PM
Sorry if this topic has been covered previously elsewhere..

I knew that in some cases, liabilty insurance was a factor, but I had no idea that some large American insurance companies were completely refusing homeowners insurance to clients based on the breed of dog they have.
What appalling discrimination! Glad to see that it is being challenged and some states have made amendments prohbiting this.

I have never been asked any questions about my pets concerning my homeowners insurance policy.
Has this been in effect in areas of Canada as well?
If so, I've obviously been in the dark about it, but will check the list to see where my insurance company stands on this issue.

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Here is a link to one story..if you are interested in reading more...


http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB114912737443568263-jbsh0h27FlEL07tiaHV5ef2gROA_20070531.html?mod=blog s

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Dog owners are biting back at the insurance industry.

There is a push by lawmakers and animal-welfare groups to ban the growing insurance-industry practice of refusing to write homeowners' policies for people who own dogs of certain breeds. Some big insurers, including Allstate Corp. and Farmers Insurance Group, won't cover homes in some states if certain breeds are present. Others exclude the breeds from liability coverage or charge extra for it. The so-called vicious-breed lists include such popular pooches as German shepherds, Akitas and Siberian huskies, along with Alaskan Malamutes, Chow Chows, Doberman Pinschers, American pit bull terriers and their cousins.

The practice is spurring rising complaints by dog owners that their homeowners' and renters' policies have been dropped, or they have been denied coverage, because their dog is on the list. They say the rules unfairly link well-behaved family pets with aggressive miscreants responsible for high-profile attacks.

At least nine states, including Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin, now have bills pending that would prevent insurance companies from dropping or refusing customers because of their dog's breed. In Massachusetts, a proposed bill has been set aside for further study. (Insurance rules and rates are state-regulated.) In 2003, the Michigan insurance commissioner issued an administrative ruling banning the practice in that state. The legislation is supported by animal-welfare organizations including the Humane Society of the United States, the American Kennel Club, and local pet and breeders' advocacy groups.

Insurers, who mostly oppose legislative efforts to alter their dog-breed policies, argue that government public-health studies and their own claims histories indicate that some breeds are more dangerous than others, and therefore pose higher risk of claims for injury and loss. Limiting insurers' exposure to those risks helps keep premiums more affordable for everyone, insurance officials say.

For owners of these breeds, the insurers' rules seem infuriatingly arbitrary. Terri Becker of Lake Arrowhead, Calif., said she has been turned down for coverage by several insurers recently. Ms. Becker, who owns three mixed-breed dogs, says The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc., refused her application last year because one of the dogs was part-Chow.

"I can have a gun, but I can't have a Chow. That's kind of crazy," she said
(article continues)

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Kerri N Lynch
June 13th, 2006, 06:07 PM
We have to pay an extra $300 yearly for our house insurance because we own dogs ( Chesapeake Bay Retrievers & Mini Schnauzers ) .:mad:

Prin
June 13th, 2006, 11:50 PM
Weird. I don't pay extra. I asked them if there was a discount for a "doggy alarm system" and they said no.

OntarioGreys
June 14th, 2006, 11:41 PM
I have heard of it and some have very long lists of breeds they won't provide coverage if you have, one even included greyhounds which is a laugh since they have no guarding instincts

jessi76
June 15th, 2006, 09:48 AM
it's a big problem here. In fact, when I first contacted the shelter about adopting Tucker, I asked why so many of his litter were still available - SUCH cute puppies! They told me that all were spoken for UNTIL folks heard they *may* be part pit bull. They shelter was making an educated guess as to what the mix was, and had to disclose it to people. Well, many adopters suddenly decided they didn't want a pup because they would LOSE their home insurance.

We decided to risk it, and the shelter wrote out his papers as "basenji-x" specifically for that purpose. They did disclose it to us, but didn't put it down on paper.

doggy lover
June 15th, 2006, 09:56 AM
I've been asked if I own a pit bull, as yes some insurances charge more or will not insure you if your dog is one. I have heard of other breeds being on the list as well but I guess they have never asked if I owned one of those.