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Thread: Allstate adds 8 dog breeds to no-policy list

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    Allstate adds 8 dog breeds to no-policy list

    Was this already a topic? If so, I appologize for the double post...

    I wonder if that is just for pure breeds... or mixes too as that Kia is a Husky mix.

    I can't believe husky made the list!

    Like I'll ever give up Kia. I'll just get insurance with a different company.

    Insurance company cites number and severity of claims

    By TANYA SOMAROO [email protected]

    More dog owners may have to choose between getting homeowners insurance and keeping their four-legged friends.

    Allstate Insurance is the latest insurer to expand its “no policy” list of dangerous dogs in an effort to curb the losses associated with dog attacks.

    The company will no longer write new policies for the owners of eight additional breeds of dogs — Staffordshire terriers, Dobermans, Rottweilers, chows, Presa Canarios, akitas, wolf hybrids and huskies.

    Allstate always had just one breed on its “no policy” list: pit bulls.

    That breed has been involved in three incidents of attacking other animals in Lee County during the last few months. None of the attacks involved humans.

    In Cape Coral, there were 98 animal bites this year from January through April — up from 68 in the same period last year.

    Countywide, dog bites have decreased slightly, from 290 bite cases for January to April 2001 to 284 for the same period this year.

    Nearly 2 percent of the U.S. population is bitten by a dog each year. Most are children.
    Ten to 20 people die every year as a result of dog bites in the United States.
    Pit bulls, Rottweilers and German shepherds account for 68. 5 percent of dog bite deaths.
    Dogs may bite out of fear, to protect their territory or to establish dominance over the person being bitten.
    Although genetics play a part in whether a dog will bite, factors such as proper socialization and supervision, humane training, appropriate play and spaying or neutering can prevent dog attacks.
    —Source: Centers for Disease Control

    Presa Canario, one of Allstate’s blacklisted breeds, is the breed that mauled a woman to death in the hallway of her San Francisco apartment building in January 2001. The owner of that dog was convicted of second-degree murder in March.

    Qualsure Insurance Corporation, Axa and Clarenden have had no-policy lists for years. Now other companies are following suit and some have cancelled insurance policies for certain dog owners.

    The Florida Department of Insurance has received more than 20 calls from frustrated dog owners whose policies were cancelled during the last year. State insurance laws cannot prevent companies from denying homeowners coverage based on dog ownership.

    Allstate, which has more than 700,000 customers in Florida and is writing new policies in Lee County, decided to expand the list of dangerous dogs because of an increase in the number and severity of claims, said Carol Barber, spokeswoman for the company.

    Barber said there has been a 25 percent increase in dog bites in Florida during the last year and the average payout for a dog attack is $14,000 to $16,000.

    Existing customers who own dogs on the dangerous list will not have to pay higher premiums to keep them or face losing the policy unless the dogs are involved in an attack, she said.

    “Rates are not based on having a dog or the type of dog,” she said. “For existing customers, we look at the entire risk. If there is a history with a particular dog, we will look at if we want to continue the policy.”

    Barber said no one will be reviewing policies and particular dogs unless the animals have been involved in an incident.

    The change is already in effect for holders of Allstate Floridian policies and will soon be in effect for Allstate Floridian Indemnity policy holders, Barber said.

    Shirley Podesta of Lehigh Acres owns a German shepherd, which is not on Allstate’s blacklist but is on the list of other insurers.

    “It’s a big concern,” said Podesta who has to renew her homeowners insurance this summer.

    Podesta was involved in a lawsuit several years ago when her Doberman attacked a guest at a barbecue.

    “I’ll never have another Doberman,” she said.

    Podesta was insured by State Farm at the time and did not have to pay anything because she had a “Beware of Dog” sign on her gate.

    She did not lose her policy or give the dog up, but said she’s now very careful with her dogs.

    “My shepherd is really docile, but after that experience I just don’t take any chances,” she said.

    State Farm and Allstate have a similar policy of reviewing cases of dog attacks on an individual basis before cancelling policies or raising rates.
    ~Kimmy, Zam, Logan, Raptor, Nimrod, Mei, Jasper, Esme, & Lucy Inara
    RIP Kia, Chipper, Morla, & June

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Grrrr! I have encountered the same "breed prejudice" when looking for a place to live. If you are lucky enough to find and apartment that allows pets over 15 lbs, you'd better not have a doberman, akita, rottweiler, pit bull, chow, german shepard, husky or a dalmation! You'll be out of luck. I'm not sure if this applies to mixes or not. My Addie is a lab-pit mix. If I say she has pit in her, people are petrified. When I call her a lab-mix, they all want to pet her. She's the same sweet dog no matter what. Not every dog in the "vicious" breeds are any more dangerous than any other dog. Far from it. Breed rules are ignorant. This country allows people that have commited no crimes to live free lives, no matter what their heritage or bloodline. Why are dogs judged only by their breed, not by their character? I realize that some bloodlines are bred to be more vicious than others, but this does not apply to an entire breed. In most cases, it is a bad owner that causes a dog to be bad.
    Last edited by pupper-lover; 06-19-2002 at 01:34 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Kansas, USA
    What do people who need guide dogs, which are usually German Shepherds, do? Just a thought: never have I heard of a guide dog attacking anyone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Greenville, SC, USA
    I don't like "lists" either. But I have finally determined that there are some breeds who are more likely to be involved in attacks, and obviously, their worst experiences have been with the breeds they have listed. I don't work for an insurance company, for the record, in case anyone thinks I'm playing salesman. But I have friends who do work in claims and it is a huge problem for them. I absolutely hate it because many of the breeds on that list are represented on Pet Talk, and you, the responsible owners, are having to pay for the poor ownership of others.

    Insurance companies pay out millions of dollars in claims each year on dog related incidents. That's why our premiums keep going up, up, up. I have Allstate Insurance on my home. I was a State Farm customer for years. But guess what? When I bought this house, they wouldn't insure me because I had a trampoline. They (the insurance companies) have to look at the areas where most of the losses occur. Dog bites, swimming pool accidents, and trampoline accidents are very high on the list, unfortunately.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Originally posted by Logan
    I don't like "lists" either. But I have finally determined that there are some breeds who are more likely to be involved in attacks, and obviously, their worst experiences have been with the breeds they have listed. I don't work for an insurance company, for the record, in case anyone thinks I'm playing salesman. But I have friends who do work in claims and it is a huge problem for them. I absolutely hate it because many of the breeds on that list are represented on Pet Talk, and you, the responsible owners, are having to pay for the poor ownership of others.
    I feel the same way sometimes. If I owned an insurance company, I honestly would not want to insure pit bulls, rotts, chows, etc., even though I own a Rott - and know how great they are.

    A somewhat realistic solution would be to require all dogs of "dangerous" breeds to undergo some kind of test. Like a CGC test maybe.

    On another note, I do think it's rather pathetic that they can't even get the breed names right. There is no such thing as a "Staffordshire Terrier".
    Last edited by Rottie; 06-19-2002 at 02:51 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Cleveland, Ohio
    What the?! OK.. Siberian Huskies?! They're nuts, they've got to be nuts! Ugh, I hate lists.. - Rachel
    You're the one sure thing I've found so you better stick around...
    Best Fireman in da House´10
    dedicated to the kindest,loveliest and always helpful man that one would be honored and proud to know........R.I.P. Dear Phred

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Ft. Wayne, IN
    I absolutely DETEST lists. There is NO reason for it at all. I see Cocker Spaniels aren't on the list, yet they are the dog that is most likely to bite you. To single out breeds is ridiculous. Like I said in my letter, it's not the dog, it's the owner. That's like saying if you're Irish you can't have a job (which did happen in the 1800s here in the U.S.), and that practice went away with the Civil Rights movement. I realize that we're talking about humans here, but to me, my dogs ARE my kids...I don't want any 2 legged kids and I would die for them and feel that they should have rights too and since they can't speak for themselves then we need to stand up for them.

    Insurance companies anger me anyway with their nit picky ways. I understand that they pay out a lot of money every year, but we pay out a lot of money every year for protection...that's the nature of their business.

    Don't buy while shelter dogs die!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Columbia, MD
    I too was was amazed once when I read that Huskies were on a "dangerous" dog list.

    But then again, a poodle can be on that same list. It isn't the breed, it's the owner! When are people going to get it!!!

    We have our insurance with USAA. It's a company for active, reserve, and retired military personnel and their dependants. We are very pleased with their policies.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Ohio, USA
    Well, with that list, I would have always been screwed! We had a Rottweiler & Chow, and now, a Rottweiler & Husky! The only thing I can't understand is when they say:

    Pit bulls, Rottweilers and German shepherds account for 68. 5 percent of dog bite deaths.

    Why are German Shepherds not on the list then? Whatever!

    Huney, Bon & Simba-missed so very much
    Remembering all the Rainbow Bridge Pets

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Altoona, Pennsylvania
    I remember when I had purchased my new home in the country. I contacted the local insurance company for coverage. They ask you questions and fill out a questionnaire. They came to the question about dogs. He asked if we owned any and I said yes, two. He asked what the breeds were. I said, Rotty and Husky. He just looked up and said, we'll just leave the breed blank and hopefully they won't question it. Fortunately they never questioned it. I guess I got lucky.
    Click here to visit my photo album

    "Anywhere I'll ever go and everywhere I've been, nothing takes my breath away like my front porch looking in." - Lonestar

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Haines, Alaska!
    I agree that its the owner not the dog in most cases. But a lady down my street my god the nicest lady ever. She never hit her dog and would never ever let any one hit him. She took him to obedencie classes. I mean he should have been the most well trained dog there is. but one day he was outside tied up and a girl about 12 or 13 (I forget) walked up to him and started to pet him. He bit her sevreal times and she almost lost her arm due to the bite. I feel bad the little girl is now afreid of dogs and the dog has to be supervised or in a pen at all times. I was surprised they didn't kill the dog. But I mean the lady did everything she could to keep the dog nice and well trained and it didn't work? So is it the dogs fault? The owners fault? Or maybe the little girls fault? I don't know but sometimes it is the dog not the owner. I'm not saying this breed of dog is mean because I know two of them who are so sweet.
    Dogs: Nova, Konnor and Sitka

  12. #12
    I think i know what you mean by "some dogs might be mean". Just like humans are sometimes bad people - maybe not by choice. ? chemical imbalance or god just didn't connect everything just right.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    In all my life of being around dogs, I've been bit, snapped at, and chased by what...... SMALL dogs.

    My old neighbors Cocker Spaniel bit their youngest daughter in the face. She almost lost her eye. They gave the dog away to an old couple with no kids and the dog is happy.

    They had golden retrievers after that and the dogs would let the kids practically roll all over them and these dogs were HUGE!

    Same with my new neighbors Malamutes when they were alive.

    I'm not saying small dogs are bad.. again, I feel it's the owners responsibility.

    But when I have to protect myself and my dog (Kia ran away in fright from a Terrier mix that charged us), I roll my eyes at these insurance companies. Proves how much they know......
    ~Kimmy, Zam, Logan, Raptor, Nimrod, Mei, Jasper, Esme, & Lucy Inara
    RIP Kia, Chipper, Morla, & June

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Syracuse, NY
    I work at an insurance company (hopefully, not for much longer if I have my way!) and I agree that the lists are ridiculous!! Not all states have the lists. Looking through my manual, I see that NY and Ohio don't specifically forbid certain breeds of dogs. But Rhode Island for example excludes the following types:

    Akita, Bullmastiff or Mastiff, Chow, Doberman Pinscher, Pit Bull Terrier, Rottweiler, Spitz, Wolf, Wolf hybrid or any dog with a dog bite claim.

    Now where would Duncan fall on that list? He may be a combination of any/all of the above breeds but he's fine since he's technically listed as a "mixed breed" with my renter's insurance? Any time people/corporations try to generalize, problems exixt. Don't we ever learn from our mistakes in the past?

  15. I probably shouldn't but I'm going to wade in here with a little of the "other side of the story." Insurance is about pooling risk. Insurance companies cannot possible know personally everyone they insure so they have to use some kind of measurement of risk based on actuarial predictions (the past.) Examples include -- men under age 25 have more automobile accidents, smokers get sick more and die sooner, etc. Also, insurance companies don't really pay the claims...all the people who pay premiums to the insurance company pay the claims -- the insurance company manages the process (and the stock holders take the risk of claims exceeding premiums and causing losses.)

    I'm sure that everyone agrees that the vet bills for Perry and Daisy should be taken care of by the neighbor with the vicious dog (read homeowner's insurance.) Should every policy holder with their insurance company pay higher rates? Or is there a more "fair" way to "guess" at and assign the risk?

    Last summer we have two large claims because of freak flooding. I anticipate an increase in our premium (fingers crossed we aren't canceled.) Fair? Prudent business decision for the other policyholders? I don't know.

    (And no, I don't work in the insurance industry!)

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