Dogs and homeowners insurance company

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DaftInvestor
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by DaftInvestor » Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:44 pm

OldBallCoach wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:27 pm
Swansea wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 1:55 pm
adamthesmythe wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:32 pm
Katietsu wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 4:09 pm
From the Insurance Information Institute:
Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one third of all homeowners liability claim dollars paid out in 2017, costing almost $700 million.
So, the risk for the insurance companies seems to be real. Unfortunately, there is not an easy way for an insurance company to distinguish between well trained dogs with responsible owners from untrained animals with no sense owners. I have always made a point of at least getting a Canine Good Citizen certificate for my dogs and those belonging to family members. Have never needed to bring it up with respect to insurance. But it has helped in other circumstances.
Given the difficulty of assessing breed and aggressiveness, it would seem to be more fair to consider only the number of dogs in a household, not their characteristics.
I will differ re breed type. I'd enter any household with an unlimited number of newfoundlands without any fear, for example.
My DD has three Newfs and these large hairy creatures are without a doubt the most gentle, kind and slobbery dog on the planet. Beyond amazing with my grandkids and they get along well with our Dobermans as well. They do shed...ALOT...but the family loves em and I can certainly see why. I asked her once if she has every heard one even growl and she said she had not...they will bark...LOUD but they seem about as gentle as can be.
Breed and Aggressiveness have been statistically assessed. The numbers are far less relevant (picture entering a house with 5 toy-poodles and compare that to a house with one single Pitbull). I know the Pitbull has jaws powerful enough to kill me (and have historically been breed based upon aggressiveness) - the toy poodles - not so much.

sschoe2
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by sschoe2 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 3:58 pm

I don't recall being asked about dogs though I have 2 poodles so I don't think they would be very concerned.

Arabesque
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by Arabesque » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:00 pm

Even well trained dogs bite. People make mistakes, and dogs make mistakes. Any time one reduces bite inhibition through genetics or training, one increases the possibility of bites. A chihuahua bite is nasty, but a Rottweiler bite could be fatal.

The stats on dog bites are grim. Here is a website with endless studies (dogbite.org). I’m linking to the fatality section because working with dogs, I have been bitten a few times. That doesn’t scare me. Dog attacks do. (Incidentally for a guard dog, Dobermans are not particularly high on fatalities)
https://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-stati ... 5-2017.php

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LadyGeek
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:04 pm

The discussion is starting to derail on dog bites and aggressive behavior. Please stay on-topic, which is the insurance aspects.
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Spirit Rider
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by Spirit Rider » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:23 pm

The bottom line is that the breed absolutely has a high correlation to deadly dog attacks. Assessing risk is an insurance company's fundamental job.

Pit Bulls have consistently been responsible for about 2/3 of all deadly attacks over the last four decades, Rottweilers 10% with about 5 times as many dogs, German Shepherds about 5% but with with 20 times as many dogs. The OP's Doberman's are way down the list at 1% with 4 times as many dogs. German Shepherds and Dobermans get lumped in with Pit Bulls, but on a percentage basis Pit Bulls are orders of magnitude more likely to maim or kill.

With the vast majority of breeds having no history of maiming or killing. Insurance is the actuarial evaluation of risk, why wouldn't they assess the fact based evidence that certain breeds have far greater risk of them having to pay claims.

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OldBallCoach
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by OldBallCoach » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:36 pm

I did get an email today from agent and she claims that State Farm may review the dogs but at this point she is merely trying to make me aware for a potential problem. The agent asked if I would be opposed to removing the dogs and I replied that I will remove her company without a second thought. We did update our home owners policy to higher values based on the increase in rebuilding costs...I would recommend this to anyone to do...we built for a cost of about 1.5 million a few years ago and State Farm calculated 2.3 to replace today. It was worth the dog hassle to get this right...I will keep you posted on who goes...the dogs will not...LOL. We also have a swimming pool and hot tub, and we own firearms...god help us...LOL...

JackoC
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by JackoC » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:45 pm

Arabesque wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:00 pm
Even well trained dogs bite. People make mistakes, and dogs make mistakes. Any time one reduces bite inhibition through genetics or training, one increases the possibility of bites. A chihuahua bite is nasty, but a Rottweiler bite could be fatal.

The stats on dog bites are grim. Here is a website with endless studies (dogbite.org). I’m linking to the fatality section because working with dogs, I have been bitten a few times. That doesn’t scare me. Dog attacks do. (Incidentally for a guard dog, Dobermans are not particularly high on fatalities)
https://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-stati ... 5-2017.php
That website is notorious for advocacy over science. There's no scientific evidence of dog breed as a causal factor in dog aggression toward people.

From an insurance co's POV, they might judge that negative *owner* factors (those being the dominant actual factors in serious dog bites per actual science) correlate with the choice of certain breed or appearance types. However from an individual POV, you or I know who we are, and there is no scientific basis for us to assume the risk of our dog biting somebody depends on its breed or appearance*.

We had a dog of appearance that the internet pseudo-science organizations like dogsbite say is 'dangerous'. But up to 90% of fatal dog bites involve unfixed male dogs, themselves or as pack leaders; this was a spayed female which very rarely injure people. She'd be an 'only dog' treated as a pampered pet not an outside fixture, another major risk reduction. The formal testing of the individual dog by the rescue org showed she was non-aggressive. A brief period in her company confirmed that. We were satisfied she posed a very low risk to humans, and that conclusion became stronger and stronger watching her interactions with people of all kinds in all situations over the years. We just didn't worry about it.

*or even actual breed, but a lot of the pseudo-science advocacy focuses on appearance of mixed breed dogs: 'looked like an X', 'was reported to be a Y' which is why the actual scientific organization CDC stopped collecting data on dog bites by breed. They concluded they could not get reliable data as to underlying genetics of dogs in question, as a opposed to 'looks like' which is scientifically meaningless if the idea is that dog aggression varies systematically by actual breed.
Last edited by JackoC on Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sergeant
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by sergeant » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:51 pm

DanMahowny wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:02 am
Spirit Rider wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:12 pm
It is the delusion of Man to think that any amount of training can override a million years of evolution. Even the most highly trained police dogs with continual remedial and additional training have turned on their handlers and had to be shot to stop the attack. There is no such thing as an absolutely safe large dog. Even St. Bernards and Great Danes have gone to instinct, mauled and killed.
Here's a secret.

The "highly trained police dogs" are actually rather poorly trained. These dogs are taught to bite on command, which is pretty easy based on breed. After that, training is basically done.

I've seen countless police dogs bite (this is easy), and the officer is powerless to stop the dog, call the dog off (this is hard).

We work on control, under any condition.
Dan, I have owned and raised schutzhund certified GSD's my entire life. I supervised a police K9 program for over a dozen years consisting of GSD's and Belgian Malinois. Your understanding of "police dogs" and their handlers training is incorrect. They absolutely are not trained to bite on command. The handler is not powerless to stop the dog. I'm a huge GSD fan and think that they're the greatest dogs on Earth.

In regards to OP, well socialized dogs are less likely to bite. I have testified as an expert in civil cases involving dog bites. Many owners are clueless and pick the absolute wrong breeds and provide no socialization, training, exercise, poor diet, etc...
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G12
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by G12 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:58 pm

Arabesque wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:00 pm
Even well trained dogs bite. People make mistakes, and dogs make mistakes. Any time one reduces bite inhibition through genetics or training, one increases the possibility of bites. A chihuahua bite is nasty, but a Rottweiler bite could be fatal.

The stats on dog bites are grim. Here is a website with endless studies (dogbite.org). I’m linking to the fatality section because working with dogs, I have been bitten a few times. That doesn’t scare me. Dog attacks do. (Incidentally for a guard dog, Dobermans are not particularly high on fatalities)
https://www.dogsbite.org/dog-bite-stati ... 5-2017.php
Dogsbite.org is a propaganda machine designed to eliminate any supposed Bully breed dogs. Most of the "studies" they reference are not to be trusted, including "eyewitness" breed IDs that have proven to be erroneous, much like eyewitness recall of police lineups. The founder has an agenda that won't be stopped. CDC and veterinarian studies are much more useful regarding canine statistics. It is false narratives like this that are leading to poorly written BSL policies, insurance exclusion, and keeping many people with well behaved dogs out of rental properties for which they otherwise qualify.

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OldBallCoach
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by OldBallCoach » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:18 pm

sergeant wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:51 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:02 am
Spirit Rider wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:12 pm
It is the delusion of Man to think that any amount of training can override a million years of evolution. Even the most highly trained police dogs with continual remedial and additional training have turned on their handlers and had to be shot to stop the attack. There is no such thing as an absolutely safe large dog. Even St. Bernards and Great Danes have gone to instinct, mauled and killed.
Here's a secret.

The "highly trained police dogs" are actually rather poorly trained. These dogs are taught to bite on command, which is pretty easy based on breed. After that, training is basically done.

I've seen countless police dogs bite (this is easy), and the officer is powerless to stop the dog, call the dog off (this is hard).

We work on control, under any condition.
Dan, I have owned and raised schutzhund certified GSD's my entire life. I supervised a police K9 program for over a dozen years consisting of GSD's and Belgian Malinois. Your understanding of "police dogs" and their handlers training is incorrect. They absolutely are not trained to bite on command. The handler is not powerless to stop the dog. I'm a huge GSD fan and think that they're the greatest dogs on Earth.

In regards to OP, well socialized dogs are less likely to bite. I have testified as an expert in civil cases involving dog bites. Many owners are clueless and pick the absolute wrong breeds and provide no socialization, training, exercise, poor diet, etc...
Wondering if you have had any experience with insurance companies and trained dogs. Our dogs are Dobermans but I would assume the insurance folks would look at a GSD in the same way? Thanks in advance.

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DanMahowny
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by DanMahowny » Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:31 pm

sergeant wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:51 pm
Dan, I have owned and raised schutzhund certified GSD's my entire life. I supervised a police K9 program for over a dozen years consisting of GSD's and Belgian Malinois. Your understanding of "police dogs" and their handlers training is incorrect. They absolutely are not trained to bite on command. The handler is not powerless to stop the dog. I'm a huge GSD fan and think that they're the greatest dogs on Earth.
We agree. GSD are the greatest dogs on earth.

My understanding of police dogs in my city and county is 100% accurate. I know how they were trained (and I trained with them). They were sued repeatedly for failing to control the dogs. The K9 programs don't exist anymore outside of the drug dogs.

A routine viewing of any of the cops shows on television will show dogs that don't obey the officers commands (other than to bite).

We seem to have a different standard. I'll give the credit to Wayne Curry at Kraftwerk K9.
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Arabesque
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by Arabesque » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:07 pm

I find myself in the strange position of defending insurance companies. Their decisions are statistically driven. I have a big maple tree near my house that my company wanted down. Statistics. I found another company.

Recognizing the differences among breeds is not pseudoscience. It is genetics. Just as greyhounds are difficult to train to retrieve, it is hard to stop most retrievers. Pointers point naturally, but it’s a hard trick for a smart border collie.

Breeds bred to guard and/or fight will guard and fight. That is why they turn up in biting studies, government and university studies, and insurance company studies.

jibantik
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by jibantik » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:17 pm

Arabesque wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:07 pm
I find myself in the strange position of defending insurance companies. Their decisions are statistically driven. I have a big maple tree near my house that my company wanted down. Statistics. I found another company.

Recognizing the differences among breeds is not pseudoscience. It is genetics. Just as greyhounds are difficult to train to retrieve, it is hard to stop most retrievers. Pointers point naturally, but it’s a hard trick for a smart border collie.

Breeds bred to guard and/or fight will guard and fight. That is why they turn up in biting studies, government and university studies, and insurance company studies.
"Dangerous" dog breeds are absolutely based on incorrect conclusions from statistics because people don't understand correlation vs. causation. Most people don't even understand what a dog breed is to begin with either.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by BolderBoy » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:10 pm

OldBallCoach wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:38 pm
Has anyone else ran into this? I am not going to do anything until such time as the company contacts us, but in the meantime the CEO of our family, DW is going to start getting some quotes.Thoughts?
Somewhere in the last year I read that the average settlement for a dog bite is approaching $500k. And there are thousands of dog bite claims each year.

Eventually insurers will simply deny coverage to dog owners.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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sergeant
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by sergeant » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:49 pm

OldBallCoach wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:18 pm
sergeant wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:51 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:02 am
Spirit Rider wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:12 pm
It is the delusion of Man to think that any amount of training can override a million years of evolution. Even the most highly trained police dogs with continual remedial and additional training have turned on their handlers and had to be shot to stop the attack. There is no such thing as an absolutely safe large dog. Even St. Bernards and Great Danes have gone to instinct, mauled and killed.
Here's a secret.

The "highly trained police dogs" are actually rather poorly trained. These dogs are taught to bite on command, which is pretty easy based on breed. After that, training is basically done.

I've seen countless police dogs bite (this is easy), and the officer is powerless to stop the dog, call the dog off (this is hard).

We work on control, under any condition.
Dan, I have owned and raised schutzhund certified GSD's my entire life. I supervised a police K9 program for over a dozen years consisting of GSD's and Belgian Malinois. Your understanding of "police dogs" and their handlers training is incorrect. They absolutely are not trained to bite on command. The handler is not powerless to stop the dog. I'm a huge GSD fan and think that they're the greatest dogs on Earth.

In regards to OP, well socialized dogs are less likely to bite. I have testified as an expert in civil cases involving dog bites. Many owners are clueless and pick the absolute wrong breeds and provide no socialization, training, exercise, poor diet, etc...
Wondering if you have had any experience with insurance companies and trained dogs. Our dogs are Dobermans but I would assume the insurance folks would look at a GSD in the same way? Thanks in advance.
I do have a little experience with insurance companies and non-trained dogs. I have been asked by several people to certify that their dogs aren't vicious. This was done after their dog had attacked and bit someone and their insurance company was cancelling their policy unless they got rid of the dog. I refused to get involved as this would have put enormous liability on me and my employing agency and their animals were truly vicious and a public hazard.
I have some experience with Dobermans as my grandfather was a breeder for about 30 years. They're great dogs. If I were you I would definitely keep records of all trainings and certifications. Keep them socialized and provide that daily training and exercise they require. I'm guessing your insurance company won't be an issue unless there is a bite incident. No company wants to take on the dog lobby.
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hale2
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by hale2 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:14 pm

sheepla wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:43 pm
German Shepherd owner here.

I haven't run into this problem with homeowners insurance but was initially denied an umbrella policy because I own two german shepherds. I wrote a scathing review on the USAA website since most MWDs are GSDs, for heavens sake. Someone from USAA called me immediately and within a month the policy was changed to no longer restrict certain breeds (or so I was told). I don't think the policy change was a result of my review but instead was something that was already in process. Don't know if it was built into our rates or not but rates seemed reasonable so all turned out okay.
What year did you have this issue with USAA? I ask because about 8 years ago they denied an umbrella policy because of my GSDs. I ended up with one of their affiliates.

sheepla
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by sheepla » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:29 am

hale2 wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:14 pm

What year did you have this issue with USAA? I ask because about 8 years ago they denied an umbrella policy because of my GSDs. I ended up with one of their affiliates.
It was about two years ago, maybe less, so the policy has apparently changed since you applied. Might be worth a phone call to ask.

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OldBallCoach
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by OldBallCoach » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:01 am

sergeant wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:49 pm
OldBallCoach wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:18 pm
sergeant wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:51 pm
DanMahowny wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:02 am
Spirit Rider wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:12 pm
It is the delusion of Man to think that any amount of training can override a million years of evolution. Even the most highly trained police dogs with continual remedial and additional training have turned on their handlers and had to be shot to stop the attack. There is no such thing as an absolutely safe large dog. Even St. Bernards and Great Danes have gone to instinct, mauled and killed.
Here's a secret.

The "highly trained police dogs" are actually rather poorly trained. These dogs are taught to bite on command, which is pretty easy based on breed. After that, training is basically done.

I've seen countless police dogs bite (this is easy), and the officer is powerless to stop the dog, call the dog off (this is hard).

We work on control, under any condition.
Dan, I have owned and raised schutzhund certified GSD's my entire life. I supervised a police K9 program for over a dozen years consisting of GSD's and Belgian Malinois. Your understanding of "police dogs" and their handlers training is incorrect. They absolutely are not trained to bite on command. The handler is not powerless to stop the dog. I'm a huge GSD fan and think that they're the greatest dogs on Earth.

In regards to OP, well socialized dogs are less likely to bite. I have testified as an expert in civil cases involving dog bites. Many owners are clueless and pick the absolute wrong breeds and provide no socialization, training, exercise, poor diet, etc...
Wondering if you have had any experience with insurance companies and trained dogs. Our dogs are Dobermans but I would assume the insurance folks would look at a GSD in the same way? Thanks in advance.
I do have a little experience with insurance companies and non-trained dogs. I have been asked by several people to certify that their dogs aren't vicious. This was done after their dog had attacked and bit someone and their insurance company was cancelling their policy unless they got rid of the dog. I refused to get involved as this would have put enormous liability on me and my employing agency and their animals were truly vicious and a public hazard.
I have some experience with Dobermans as my grandfather was a breeder for about 30 years. They're great dogs. If I were you I would definitely keep records of all trainings and certifications. Keep them socialized and provide that daily training and exercise they require. I'm guessing your insurance company won't be an issue unless there is a bite incident. No company wants to take on the dog lobby.
We have all the records and training docs from the company we buy our dogs from. The company has a strellar rep in the area of protection dogs and they have been great to work with over the years. Our guys are getting a little long in the tooth so to speak but both dogs get tons of exercise and they are 100% social every day. My wife is primary on their training and she goes though the commands on a regular basis. I honestly bought the dogs for the family protection element more than anything else. Crooks and the like will think twice when dogs are around on a regular basis and in the event of an issue the dogs are seconds away where as the response time of our local officers is usually 15-20 minutes due the the fact that the force is undermanned and overworked in every way. We are also on a beach where everyone in the world has rights to walk the shoreline and while we are 250 feet from the water people will still walk up to the house at times...LOL...We have two AEDs on our property for the same reason. I don't blame the officers in ANY way, facts are facts. So has anyone found an insurance company that really gets protection dogs? I hope we can stay with State Farm, they have been good to us over the past 30 years..they really have...we have moved tons, had a few issues and never had any reason to look elsewhere...rates come and go...I am more of a relationship kind of guy...but..its kinda like that old song that says I gotta pick between my fishing buddies and my wife...sure gonna miss her...or in this case...them..the good hands folks...thanks to all for your input...

JackoC
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by JackoC » Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:31 am

Arabesque wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:07 pm
I find myself in the strange position of defending insurance companies. Their decisions are statistically driven. I have a big maple tree near my house that my company wanted down. Statistics. I found another company.

Recognizing the differences among breeds is not pseudoscience. It is genetics. Just as greyhounds are difficult to train to retrieve, it is hard to stop most retrievers. Pointers point naturally, but it’s a hard trick for a smart border collie.

Breeds bred to guard and/or fight will guard and fight. That is why they turn up in biting studies, government and university studies, and insurance company studies.
The explanation you give in second and third paragraphs is false. There is no scientific evidence that dog aggression toward humans varies systematically by breed. No US govt organization has found that. The ASPCA's recent landmark study of causal factors in dog bites didn't include breed. Just false, as many times as it's repeated on the internet by non-scientific advocacy organizations staffed by non-credentialed advocates, like dogsbite. org.

However as I mentioned earlier, insurance companies are not dealing with the question of whether breed DNA is a causal factor in dog bites. If dog bites *correlate* with breed/appearance* because owners who tend to mismanage dogs** tend to favor certain breeds/appearances, then type/appearance might be a valid underwriting factor. That's not to say it's a correct judgement, and anyway insurance co's do not have uniform policies about dog type. It's just to reiterate the difference between causation and correlation. The fact that some insurance companies have breed specific dog policies is not because of science saying that dog breed is a causal factor in dog aggression toward people: there is no such science.

And again from individual POV in getting a dog there is no scientific basis to think a dog of certain appearance is going to be more aggressive to people than a dog of other appearance managed by the same owner the same way. Besides the general increase in risk from big as opposed to small dogs. And before evaluating the temperament of a particular dog, which varies widely from dog to dog, and is often immediately apparent.

*or general appearance type, relatively few dogs are pure breeds and the appearance of mixed breed dogs is basically meaningless in terms of genetics, dogs with the same % mix of X and Y breed can look quite different from one another.
**in terms of the actual causal factors in serious dog bites: keeping unfixed male dogs, treating dogs as lawn fixtures or burglar alarms rather than pets, multiple dogs, amateur training of dogs aiming toward selective aggression to people, general negligence, etc.

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N1CKV
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by N1CKV » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:49 am

My insurer has a simple solution:
They specifically exclude dog liability in their base liability insurance policy.
You can buy dog coverage as a rider after asking some questions. I think the rider costs me $35/yr for two Miniature Pinschers.

JGoneRiding
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by JGoneRiding » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:39 pm

Swansea wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:18 am
I have had State Farm for years and german shepherds for 20 years or so...never been asked whether or not I have dogs.
I've ready that the average claim for a dog bite is 33K...seems quite high to me.
A local military base has a ban on two breed specific dogs. Go to the CDC website and you will find data on fatal dog bites by breed. I suspect insurance companies may rely upon that.
I believe they do. This is highly state dependent. In my state insurance companies are not allowed to discriminate by breed. But your dog basically gets a once and done option. No matter how minor the claim if your dog bites at all you won't be able to get it covered.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:03 pm

N1CKV wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:49 am
My insurer has a simple solution:
They specifically exclude dog liability in their base liability insurance policy.
You can buy dog coverage as a rider after asking some questions. I think the rider costs me $35/yr for two Miniature Pinschers.
Your insurance company has handled the issue in the best way, IMHO. They probably can keep most of their customers satisfied by associating the risks as best they can.

Do they insure the list of dogs that seem to inflict the greatest damage with higher policy premiums, or do they still work off a no-way list, not insuring dogs on the bad* list of breeds?

* I don't know (or care) if the list is good, bad or indifferent, as I have no dog in this fight! :D

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:41 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:03 pm
N1CKV wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:49 am
My insurer has a simple solution:
They specifically exclude dog liability in their base liability insurance policy.
You can buy dog coverage as a rider after asking some questions. I think the rider costs me $35/yr for two Miniature Pinschers.
Your insurance company has handled the issue in the best way, IMHO. They probably can keep most of their customers satisfied by associating the risks as best they can.

Do they insure the list of dogs that seem to inflict the greatest damage with higher policy premiums, or do they still work off a no-way list, not insuring dogs on the bad* list of breeds?

* I don't know (or care) if the list is good, bad or indifferent, as I have no dog in this fight! :D

Broken Man 1999
Welp, there is the grand finale, folks! Well done!

Jablean
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by Jablean » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:27 pm

All dogs are different. First pit mix rescue would face down a ninja with a night stick (or window installer with a nail gun) and yet immediately turn to play mode if I said it's ok. He threw balls over the fence so "friends" could play with him, everyone else walked on the other side of the street. First time he saw our rescued rabbit he brought him a toy. Did draw blood one time - Sewer install guy saw my DH playing "bite my hand while growling game" with him and tried it. Even though he was expecting it he was so startled he pulled his hand out and scraped it on a tooth. We still miss him, dogs have such short lives.

The current two, a border collie mix and a chihauhau mix, don't look dangerous but they are a lot less trustworthy and nips aren't out of the question.

I always say mixed breed on the insurance app. They wanted pictures of my cars, I suppose they drove past the house. Google maps will show them if you have a pool and a diving board.

Broken Man 1999
Posts: 3718
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:36 pm

Jablean wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:27 pm
All dogs are different. First pit mix rescue would face down a ninja with a night stick (or window installer with a nail gun) and yet immediately turn to play mode if I said it's ok. He threw balls over the fence so "friends" could play with him, everyone else walked on the other side of the street. First time he saw our rescued rabbit he brought him a toy. Did draw blood one time - Sewer install guy saw my DH playing "bite my hand while growling game" with him and tried it. Even though he was expecting it he was so startled he pulled his hand out and scraped it on a tooth. We still miss him, dogs have such short lives.

The current two, a border collie mix and a chihauhau mix, don't look dangerous but they are a lot less trustworthy and nips aren't out of the question.

I always say mixed breed on the insurance app. They wanted pictures of my cars, I suppose they drove past the house. Google maps will show them if you have a pool and a diving board.
Your dog probably gets the nastiness from the chihuahua blood. Miserable little varmints!

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

Good Listener
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by Good Listener » Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:54 pm

Forget insurance. Although this is none of my business, an animal is an animal and occasionally reverts to its instincts. I would be very wary of lettingdogs of this breed to be with grandchildren. A child could do something to dpook a dog. If God forbid something happened. I cannot even imagine.

Jablean
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by Jablean » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:25 am

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:36 pm
Jablean wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:27 pm
All dogs are different. First pit mix rescue would face down a ninja with a night stick (or window installer with a nail gun) and yet immediately turn to play mode if I said it's ok. He threw balls over the fence so "friends" could play with him, everyone else walked on the other side of the street. First time he saw our rescued rabbit he brought him a toy. Did draw blood one time - Sewer install guy saw my DH playing "bite my hand while growling game" with him and tried it. Even though he was expecting it he was so startled he pulled his hand out and scraped it on a tooth. We still miss him, dogs have such short lives.

The current two, a border collie mix and a chihauhau mix, don't look dangerous but they are a lot less trustworthy and nips aren't out of the question.

I always say mixed breed on the insurance app. They wanted pictures of my cars, I suppose they drove past the house. Google maps will show them if you have a pool and a diving board.
Your dog probably gets the nastiness from the chihuahua blood. Miserable little varmints!

Broken Man 1999
I call him my mini-pit. Has multiple personalities. Bonus of the chihauahau blood is they lose teeth (costing an arm and a leg at the vet) so he's getting more toothless by the year. I shouldn't have scooped him off the street and rescued him but he's sooooo cute ;)

GCD
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by GCD » Wed Jul 24, 2019 1:54 am

OldBallCoach wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:38 pm
Our agent remarked that insurance companies are getting very wary of dogs on the property. Certain breeds will either raise your rates or the company will not insure period... the company will likely either raise our rates or cancel us all together...

Thoughts?
Thoughts? Shop around and get the best rate you can while being honest in your insurance application. All this blather about which dogs are safe and which aren't is utterly irrellevant. All that matters is what the insurance company thinks, rightly or wrongly. I'm sure different companies have different policies. Find one that works for you. Trying to argue with the insurance company over what their policies are is a waste of time.

If you want to keep your current homeowners insurance and get a supplemental policy with another insurer that might work. I don't know if that would be cost effective. Dean Insurance is the only company I have found that issues policies solely to cover dog liability. Unfortunately they are not taking new policies for the next 60 days. I have no idea what that is about. https://www.dogbitequote.com/

Enganerd
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by Enganerd » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:41 am

JackoC wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:31 am
Arabesque wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:07 pm
I find myself in the strange position of defending insurance companies. Their decisions are statistically driven. I have a big maple tree near my house that my company wanted down. Statistics. I found another company.

Recognizing the differences among breeds is not pseudoscience. It is genetics. Just as greyhounds are difficult to train to retrieve, it is hard to stop most retrievers. Pointers point naturally, but it’s a hard trick for a smart border collie.

Breeds bred to guard and/or fight will guard and fight. That is why they turn up in biting studies, government and university studies, and insurance company studies.
The explanation you give in second and third paragraphs is false. There is no scientific evidence that dog aggression toward humans varies systematically by breed. No US govt organization has found that. The ASPCA's recent landmark study of causal factors in dog bites didn't include breed. Just false, as many times as it's repeated on the internet by non-scientific advocacy organizations staffed by non-credentialed advocates, like dogsbite. org.

However as I mentioned earlier, insurance companies are not dealing with the question of whether breed DNA is a causal factor in dog bites. If dog bites *correlate* with breed/appearance* because owners who tend to mismanage dogs** tend to favor certain breeds/appearances, then type/appearance might be a valid underwriting factor. That's not to say it's a correct judgement, and anyway insurance co's do not have uniform policies about dog type. It's just to reiterate the difference between causation and correlation. The fact that some insurance companies have breed specific dog policies is not because of science saying that dog breed is a causal factor in dog aggression toward people: there is no such science.

And again from individual POV in getting a dog there is no scientific basis to think a dog of certain appearance is going to be more aggressive to people than a dog of other appearance managed by the same owner the same way. Besides the general increase in risk from big as opposed to small dogs. And before evaluating the temperament of a particular dog, which varies widely from dog to dog, and is often immediately apparent.

*or general appearance type, relatively few dogs are pure breeds and the appearance of mixed breed dogs is basically meaningless in terms of genetics, dogs with the same % mix of X and Y breed can look quite different from one another.
**in terms of the actual causal factors in serious dog bites: keeping unfixed male dogs, treating dogs as lawn fixtures or burglar alarms rather than pets, multiple dogs, amateur training of dogs aiming toward selective aggression to people, general negligence, etc.
Not to derail the thread but I find your stance interesting. Normally in a discussion of intuition vs data and the evidence available I find myself arguing along the lines of look at the numbers/evidence don't trust your gut. But the idea that certain breeds of dogs are not actually more dangerous it is just false narratives and faulty reasoning that leads many of us to think that way seems incorrect. Maybe I am misunderstanding your point, for instance I bet there are more cases of serious injury or death from a Great Dane bite vs a Bichon Frise simply because on average the Great Dane is larger, we do not even need to discuss the more subjective traits of 'temperament'. But being around a number of dogs (I'm not a trainer just enjoy dogs) I do think that breeds that have a history of working (retrievers, shepherds, guard) do have a higher drive or prey drive and that would tend to increase risk of a bite/attack. I say this as a past GSD owner and fan of all dogs.

RobLyons
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by RobLyons » Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:03 am

OldBallCoach wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:38 pm
So we had our insurance agent out to the house to look over coverages and be sure we are all on the same place with rising costs, ect. Really had not done this in a few years. Our agent remarked that insurance companies are getting very wary of dogs on the property. Certain breeds will either raise your rates or the company will not insure period. We have 2 dobermans that are highly trained and frankly are here for our protection as well as being companions. Both dogs are gentle around our grandkids but will turn on a dime if given the correct commands. I explained this to our agent and yet her comment was that the company will likely either raise our rates or cancel us all together. This after 30 some years with the same company...yes we have moved many times but kept the same company, just a new agent. So much for like a good neighbor.

Has anyone else ran into this? I am not going to do anything until such time as the company contacts us, but in the meantime the CEO of our family, DW is going to start getting some quotes.
Thoughts?

No.

I just went through the process of getting quotes for a new insurer.
My mortgage lender partners with a company that works with a dozen insurance agencies and they asked for breed and any history of bites but beyond that it wasn't an issue.

Same with Amica when I called directly.
We have a retriever (black lab mix) no bite history.
"Great parenting sets the foundation for a better world"

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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by aristotelian » Wed Jul 24, 2019 6:43 am

We acquired a boxer mix (appears part pit bull). She is a very sweet and gentle dog but does nip when excited. We had an incident where the dog had an encounter with an unattended 3 year old that ended badly. Kid did not appear injured but the father filed a police report and threatened to sue. Our insurance said they would handle the claim but the dog would have to be rehomed. We ended up retaining a lawyer and settling.

The incident was a huge wake up call that we are liable for everything the dog might do, even when other people fail to use common sense. Also, insurance is a business and they can drop you at any time if you are seen as a liability. Now we can't shop for insurance because our dog had a bite on record, but at least we have insurance.

jminv
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by jminv » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:01 am

OldBallCoach wrote:
Sun Jul 21, 2019 1:38 pm
So we had our insurance agent out to the house to look over coverages and be sure we are all on the same place with rising costs, ect. Really had not done this in a few years. Our agent remarked that insurance companies are getting very wary of dogs on the property. Certain breeds will either raise your rates or the company will not insure period. We have 2 dobermans that are highly trained and frankly are here for our protection as well as being companions. Both dogs are gentle around our grandkids but will turn on a dime if given the correct commands. I explained this to our agent and yet her comment was that the company will likely either raise our rates or cancel us all together. This after 30 some years with the same company...yes we have moved many times but kept the same company, just a new agent. So much for like a good neighbor.

Has anyone else ran into this? I am not going to do anything until such time as the company contacts us, but in the meantime the CEO of our family, DW is going to start getting some quotes.
Thoughts?
The breed questions have been common for years and it is because they cause a disproportionate share of claims. I would imagine the risk is partly the breed and partly the people who are attracted to those breeds, ie, some people buy breeds on the lists because they want a dog known for it's hunting or protection abilities and they then reinforce these behaviors which amplifies the risk.

If you want an insurer that will insure you regardless of breed, use usaa. If you want to go the bite history route, State Farm does that. Otherwise, you will get the breed question and your rates will likely be adjusted upward to reflect the insurer's added risk. I had one of these dogs myself in the past and always found it cheaper to use one of the insurers where you disclosed, since usaa and state farm tend to be expensive anyway. There are also two states where an insurer can't use breeds as a pricing factor.

Most people think they are better than average at everything in life even though half must be below average. A common example of this is self reported driving ability. When it involves children and dogs, it's even more amplified. Few people would actually say that their dogs are poorly trained. It would be costly to determine whether an individual dog is well trained, poorly trained, or a greater risk of biting someone and this would drive up insurance costs. Because of this, insurers rely on these lists and/or bite history to judge the risk.

I'd also point out that you may have made the home visit worse by inadvertently effectively saying you have trained protection/attack/guard dogs rather than just one of the breeds on the list. Although you might not have realized it, saying that your dogs can 'turn on a dime' from friendly to attack mode on command means that a claim is more, not less, likely. There are situations where you might feel justified in having the dogs attack someone that would then lead to a claim and since the dogs are trained to attack or be threatening in the first place, they are likely to cause a greater level of injury. Just because something might have been justified, doesn't mean that there won't be civil liability. Then there's the problem of protection dogs not always obeying their masters and biting anyway.

The actionable part of this is that you should seek comparison quotes since you can compare prices with the dog breed disclosed and the fact that you had an agent home visit means that it's likely a higher cost policy. It never hurts to comparison shop periodically.

As to people continuing with the 'if it's not fully purebred, don't disclose it since you can call it a mutt' - many of the questionnaires have fine print that say you must disclose if the dog has any portion of the breed, ie, of course they know you will try not to disclose a risk factor which is common in insurance. You've already indicated that you have purebred dobermanns so it's not applicable to you, but if the dog looks like a dobermann or a rotweiller or whatever and there is a claim, and it wasn't disclosed, the insurer is going to deny your claim, possibly after a breed test. If it looks like a dobermann, it's going to be hard to counter the insurer's denier with a no, it's not a dobermann at all. If someone is considering doing that but wants to be covered for dog claims, it's better to just pay the additional cost to have coverage or to drop the dog protection altogether.

I was attacked by a well trained dobermann as a child, although my parents did not sue. The dog was a purebred that had been well trained as a protection animal (certified) but was treated as a family animal during the day. I had met the dog before and when I was attacked, I was riding bikes with my friend in the driveway. I was knocked off my bike and bitten in the hip. Luckily the father was there and got the dog back under control. The police were called and the dog had new rules which if not followed, would have led to it being put down. Keep in mind that animals are a risk factor, especially around kids, visitors and total strangers. I had a dog on that breed list as an adult that was well trained and never had it out when we had visitors because you just never know. I also know that even though you love the dog and don't understand how somebody else wouldn't love them too, there are people that are uncomfortable around dogs and besides making all guests comfortable, an uncomfortable person can cause a response or kids that try to make friends. On the last bit, I never let strange kids come up to the dog when I walked it. It's unbelievable how some parents tell their kids to go say hello to the strange doggie over there.

JackoC
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by JackoC » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:19 am

Enganerd wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:41 am
JackoC wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:31 am
Arabesque wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:07 pm
I find myself in the strange position of defending insurance companies.
The explanation you give in second and third paragraphs is false. There is no scientific evidence that dog aggression toward humans varies systematically by breed. No US govt organization has found that. The ASPCA's recent landmark study of causal factors in dog bites didn't include breed. Just false, as many times as it's repeated on the internet by non-scientific advocacy organizations staffed by non-credentialed advocates, like dogsbite. org.

Besides the general increase in risk from big as opposed to small dogs. And before evaluating the temperament of a particular dog, which varies widely from dog to dog, and is often immediately apparent.
1. Not to derail the thread but I find your stance interesting. Normally in a discussion of intuition vs data and the evidence available I find myself arguing along the lines of look at the numbers/evidence don't trust your gut. But the idea that certain breeds of dogs are not actually more dangerous it is just false narratives and faulty reasoning that leads many of us to think that way seems incorrect.

2. Maybe I am misunderstanding your point, for instance I bet there are more cases of serious injury or death from a Great Dane bite vs a Bichon Frise simply because on average the Great Dane is larger, we do not even need to discuss the more subjective traits of 'temperament'.

3. But being around a number of dogs (I'm not a trainer just enjoy dogs) I do think that breeds that have a history of working (retrievers, shepherds, guard) do have a higher drive or prey drive and that would tend to increase risk of a bite/attack. I say this as a past GSD owner and fan of all dogs.
1. I may misunderstand you because I literally cannot decipher that last sentence.

2. This would seem to ignore the point I made still quoted above. Nobody reasonable says there isn't a connection between dog size and potential for harm. The question is whether there's any valid basis to assume that breed is a casual factor in dog aggression toward humans, as in among relatively larger dogs. There isn't any.

3. Yet again there is no actual evidence of this, breed as causal factor in dog bites correcting for who owns the dog and how they manage it. Whereas other factors (unfixed male dogs involved in great majority of serious dog attacks on people v lone spayed females almost none, for example) are quite well established. And the breed/type for which such an unproven 'breed'/human aggression connection is by far the most commonly assumed in recent times, so call 'pit bull' type dogs, are neither retrievers nor shepherds nor guard dogs by traditional use.

Moreover and to repeat, a large proportion of dogs are mixed breed. The vast majority of dogs called 'pit bulls' are mixes. It's not just lacking in scientific backing to think you can gauge the potential for human aggression of a mixed breed dog by looking at a photograph*, it's nonsensical. Mixed breed dogs with the same % of X and Y can look entirely different.

But to try to bring it back to point, insurance companies are not trying to determine the risk of dogs in a vacuum. They are trying to determine the risk of owner/dog combinations. If there's a correlation between owners who manage dogs in a way which increases the risk of dog bites and the type of dog those owners tend to choose, it could be that dog type is a valid underwriting consideration. Because it might tell the ins co about the odds of the *owner* being one who increases the risk of their dog biting somebody. But insurance co's are not using evidence that dog breed itself is a causal factor in aggression toward humans correcting for the management of the dog by its owner: there isn't any such evidence.

*if you're in the actual presence of the dog you might pick up on its body language etc. It's often not that hard to judge which individual dogs you should be particularly cautious with from a brief meeting but the correct way to gauge that is how the dog acts not its general appearance type.

jibantik
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by jibantik » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:26 am

JackoC wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:19 am
Enganerd wrote:
Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:41 am
JackoC wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 9:31 am
Arabesque wrote:
Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:07 pm
I find myself in the strange position of defending insurance companies.
The explanation you give in second and third paragraphs is false. There is no scientific evidence that dog aggression toward humans varies systematically by breed. No US govt organization has found that. The ASPCA's recent landmark study of causal factors in dog bites didn't include breed. Just false, as many times as it's repeated on the internet by non-scientific advocacy organizations staffed by non-credentialed advocates, like dogsbite. org.

Besides the general increase in risk from big as opposed to small dogs. And before evaluating the temperament of a particular dog, which varies widely from dog to dog, and is often immediately apparent.
1. Not to derail the thread but I find your stance interesting. Normally in a discussion of intuition vs data and the evidence available I find myself arguing along the lines of look at the numbers/evidence don't trust your gut. But the idea that certain breeds of dogs are not actually more dangerous it is just false narratives and faulty reasoning that leads many of us to think that way seems incorrect.

2. Maybe I am misunderstanding your point, for instance I bet there are more cases of serious injury or death from a Great Dane bite vs a Bichon Frise simply because on average the Great Dane is larger, we do not even need to discuss the more subjective traits of 'temperament'.

3. But being around a number of dogs (I'm not a trainer just enjoy dogs) I do think that breeds that have a history of working (retrievers, shepherds, guard) do have a higher drive or prey drive and that would tend to increase risk of a bite/attack. I say this as a past GSD owner and fan of all dogs.
1. I may misunderstand you because I literally cannot decipher that last sentence.

2. This would seem to ignore the point I made still quoted above. Nobody reasonable says there isn't a connection between dog size and potential for harm. The question is whether there's any valid basis to assume that breed is a casual factor in dog aggression toward humans, as in among relatively larger dogs. There isn't any.

3. Yet again there is no actual evidence of this, breed as causal factor in dog bites correcting for who owns the dog and how they manage it. Whereas other factors (unfixed male dogs involved in great majority of serious dog attacks on people v lone spayed females almost none, for example) are quite well established. And the breed/type for which such an unproven 'breed'/human aggression connection is by far the most commonly assumed in recent times, so call 'pit bull' type dogs, are neither retrievers nor shepherds nor guard dogs by traditional use.

Moreover and to repeat, a large proportion of dogs are mixed breed. The vast majority of dogs called 'pit bulls' are mixes. It's not just lacking in scientific backing to think you can gauge the potential for human aggression of a mixed breed dog by looking at a photograph*, it's nonsensical. Mixed breed dogs with the same % of X and Y can look entirely different.

But to try to bring it back to point, insurance companies are not trying to determine the risk of dogs in a vacuum. They are trying to determine the risk of owner/dog combinations. If there's a correlation between owners who manage dogs in a way which increases the risk of dog bites and the type of dog those owners tend to choose, it could be that dog type is a valid underwriting consideration. Because it might tell the ins co about the odds of the *owner* being one who increases the risk of their dog biting somebody. But insurance co's are not using evidence that dog breed itself is a causal factor in aggression toward humans correcting for the management of the dog by its owner: there isn't any such evidence.

*if you're in the actual presence of the dog you might pick up on its body language etc. It's often not that hard to judge which individual dogs you should be particularly cautious with from a brief meeting but the correct way to gauge that is how the dog acts not its general appearance type.
+1.

There are two large issues that cause people to keep puppeting incorrect information:
(1) People don't understand the difference between correlation and causation
(2) People don't understand what a dog "breed" is

From an insurance perspective, it doesn't really matter. Correlation works good enough and basing it on the way a dog looks, which many people incorrectly mistake for breed, is good enough.

Many people think a dog MUST belong to some breed, as if it is a species classification.

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N1CKV
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by N1CKV » Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:13 pm

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 2:03 pm
N1CKV wrote:
Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:49 am
My insurer has a simple solution:
They specifically exclude dog liability in their base liability insurance policy.
You can buy dog coverage as a rider after asking some questions. I think the rider costs me $35/yr for two Miniature Pinschers.
Your insurance company has handled the issue in the best way, IMHO. They probably can keep most of their customers satisfied by associating the risks as best they can.

Do they insure the list of dogs that seem to inflict the greatest damage with higher policy premiums, or do they still work off a no-way list, not insuring dogs on the bad* list of breeds?

* I don't know (or care) if the list is good, bad or indifferent, as I have no dog in this fight! :D

Broken Man 1999
I do not know their specific limitations for breeds, I did not bother to ask. My insurance agent is a childhood friend that is familiar with my house and my dogs through our personal relationship so he knows the answer to most questions without asking.

The main point of my post was, several posters have commented that they just simply omitted telling their insurer of a dog in the household. They should check their policies very carefully because dogs may be excluded and that would be exposing themselves to unintended risk.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:41 pm

Unfortunately, today it seems common sense isn't so common.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

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Re: Dogs and homeowners insurance company

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Jul 24, 2019 5:47 pm

I removed a contentious interchange regarding a dog biting incident. As a reminder, see: General Etiquette
We expect this forum to be a place where people can feel comfortable asking questions and where debates and discussions are conducted in civil tones.
Please stay on-topic, which is the insurance aspects.
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