Some Dog Breeds Still Worry Home Insurers

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  • These days, many homeowners are finding out the hard way that there may be many reasons why their home insurance policies may become more expensive or even be canceled altogether when risk increases. One of the numerous reasons this might happen is related to the kinds of pets they might own. Because of this, it might be important for insurance agents to do more to educate consumers about the kinds of risk factors the lead insurers to such decisions, and what those homeowners may do to improve their situations.

    Each year, home insurance companies are likely to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in claims to people who suffer dog bites, and the number of those instances is often in the low five digits, according to a report from the Sacramento Bee. In fact, dog bites actually make up as much as 1 in every 3 home insurance claims overall, and the cost of each can stretch to tens of thousands of dollars.

    What action is taken?
    That leads insurance companies to be more cautious in dealing with dog owners in general, but those who own certain breeds might be seen as being at increased risk for having a claim filed, the report said. Larger breeds that are viewed – unfairly or not – as being more aggressive include pit bulls, Rottweiler dogs, and so on, and people who own them might see their home insurance costs increase significantly, or be canceled altogether. Likewise, these people may also end up having trouble finding other insurers to take them on going forward.

    “The presence of some dog breeds may make a home ineligible for insurance coverage,” Heather Serignese, spokeswoman for a major home insurance agency, told the newspaper via email. “Each customer’s situation is different and we encourage homeowners to speak with their insurance company or agent for more information.”

    The issue that many insurance agents often face is that homeowners typically don’t always fully understand their policies, and the more that can be done to fill in those gaps in their knowledge, the better off both sides of the issue are likely to be. For consumers, increased understanding and a better feeling about their customer service will likely make them more satisfied with their coverage overall. And for agents, that will typically lead to higher rates of retention and better customer satisfaction ratings.