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Dog Tip: Insurance-Related Issues

By Robin Tierney

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This Dog Tip covers:

PAW adopter Susan John submitted the following item from a recent newsletter from the Humane Society of the United States:
"In recent years, many homeowners have found themselves either unable to get homeowner's insurance or have had their insurance cancelled, based solely on the breed of a dog in their household. The HSUS is working to address this problem and is gathering contact information and stories from those who have experienced this dilemma. If you or someone you know has been denied homeowner's insurance or has been unable to obtain it based on the breed of dog in their home, please contact The HSUS." There's a form you can complete at http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/insurance_incident_form_1.pdf

The difficulties of getting home insurance are compounded by developments in the insurance industry over the past few years related to issues ranging from disaster-related pay-outs and high settlements for trip-and-fall accidents to storm damage and mold-related claims. PAW adopter Donna Leader suggests that it is good to be aware of insurance companies that do not discriminate against dog owners or to certain breeds.

Here are some companies that contacts have reported are dog-friendly and tend not to discriminate by breed: State Farm, Farmers Insurance Group, Travelers, Liberty Mutual, United Services Automobile Association, Erie, Fireman's Fund, Kemper, Chubb Group, Allstate and Safeco Corp. NOTE: This list was compiled several years ago, so do your own search as well.
Ways to improve your chances of getting and keeping homeowner and renter's insurance:

The following insurance-related suggestions for dog owners come from PAW volunteer Marsha Rader, who is a specialist in insurance issues. For more information about home insurance for dog owners:

Articles on the Web:
How Dog Owners Can Avoid Being Bitten by a Lawsuit
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/free-books/dog-book/chapter11-8.html
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/question-does-homeowners-insurance-cover-attacks-28376.html
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/dog-bites-other-injuries

Insurance Resource Center
http://www.akc.org/breeders/government_relations/ins_ctr/index.cfm
The Ultimate Guide to Homeowners Insurance for Dog Owners

Canine Good Citizenship Certification
http://www.akc.org/dogowner/training/canine_good_citizen/index.cfm

Information on Renting with Companion Animals in Maryland, and for any Marylanders with pit bulls
http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/pets/md_renters_with_dogs.pdf

Book:
"Dog Law" by Attorney Mary Randolph

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For more of Robin's Dog Tips, see the index at:  www.paw-rescue.org/PAW/dog_tips.php

Partnership for Animal Welfare
P.O. Box 1074, Greenbelt, MD 20768

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Last Updated: October 24, 2014 (LET) PawSupport