From today’s Wall Street Journal:
The insurance-industry practice of refusing to write homeowners’ policies for people who own dogs of certain breeds is causing lots of trouble, as well as some backlash from condo associations, and, now, several state legislatures.
Some big insurers, including Allstate Corp. and Farmers Insurance Group, won’t cover homes in some states if certain breeds are present. Others exclude the breeds from liability coverage or charge extra for it. The so-called vicious-breed lists include such popular pooches as German shepherds, Akitas and Siberian huskies, along with Alaskan Malamutes, Chow Chows, Doberman Pinschers, American pit bull terriers and their cousins.
At least nine states, including Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Tennessee, Vermont, and Wisconsin, now have bills pending that would prevent insurance companies from dropping or refusing customers because of their dog’s breed.
In Massachusetts, a proposed bill has been set aside for further study. (Insurance rules and rates are state-regulated.)
Dogs bite an estimated 4.7 million people in the United States annually, 800,000 seriously enough to require medical attention. About 40% of victims are children.
Complete story: Canine Mutiny: Dog Owners Fight: Insurers Over Insurance Practice – By M. P. McQueen, The Wall Street Journal