Thursday, January 31, 2008
Springfield, IL - The trend of insurance companies refusing to offer homeowner policies to owners of "at risk" breeds is occurring nationwide. There is a simple reason for this. Providers have to pay if the dog injures a person. It's well understood that certain dog breeds inflict more damage when they attack than others. Furthermore, many of these attacks occur in the facial region, which is very costly to repair.
Insurance companies make the logical distinction that pit bulls, rottweilers and several other breeds have a higher risk of inflicting greater damage (not to mention death as documented in fatality studies). It's no different than accessing the injury risk of a motorcyclist vs. a motorist. The former has much higher premiums because when motorcyclists are involved in accidents, they tend to suffer greater injury.
Pit bull and rottweiler advocates say, "Singling out a breed is akin to discrimination."One has to wonder how much longer the larger public is willing to buy this nonsense. Owners of breeds like beagles need to ask themselves a question: "Should I pay higher premiums because someone down the street chooses to own a pit bull?" By disallowing insurance companies to properly asses risk and place higher premiums into the hands they are due, all dog owners will pay the price.
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| 1/31/2008 10:26 AM |
Does anyone know of any public records search a concerned neighbor can do that would reveal what insurance company is insuring a home where a dangerous dog resides?
For instance, if a neighbor has a dog that is often loose and acting aggressively, threatening your children, etc., and if reports to AC were ignored because the dog hasn't bitten anyone "yet"....if you knew the name of their insurance carrier, you could report them. If you had a paper trail of reports of the dog off leash, acting in a menacing manner, their agent might threaten to cancel their policy...they might actually have to get rid of their dog.
I know owners of dogs who are obviously pit bulls, who have attacked other dogs or humans, yet have registered their dogs as "mixed breeds" to stay under the radar of their homeowners insurance carrier. If their were a way to find the owners insurance information, it might force owners of dangerous dogs to get rid of the dog before they attack a neighbor, not after.
| 1/31/2008 11:44 AM |
If the dog owner is also the home owner, try checking the county records. Often the insurer is listed in the real estate purchase contract. These records are often available on line but you may have to go the county records office. Anyone can look at these. If the insurer isn't listed, try contacting the mortgage company. If they won't give that information and you have a really dangerous dog and a couple of hundred dollars to spare, hire a private investigator.
If the dog owner is a renter, contact the property owner. I have a problem rental in the neighborhood and after the renters' pit bull killed another neighbor's cat, I called the property owner. He evicted them. I think that most landlords are sensitive to these issues.
| 1/31/2008 12:51 PM |
One problem is that if the homeowner doesn't properly declare owning a high risk breed and there is an incident, the policy becomes void due to fraud.
I don't think there is a way of obtaining a neighbor's insurance policy infomation.
| 2/02/2008 11:15 AM |
You are right the insurance company can not give that info, but you can give them information. I recently had pit bulls kill my 9-year-old cat. I went to several agencies and finally one of them contacted the landlord of this property and they evicted the dogs and the owners. The house was also trashed and the landlord has been working on the place for a couple of months and still does not have it rerented. We need to stay on the liability angle, it's the only chance of getting anything done. firstname.lastname@example.org
| 2/28/2008 1:29 PM |
David, you were able to find out the owner had insurance? We have a problem right now because the dog owner says he does not have insurance on his almost $200,000 house. Sounds fishy to me.