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Home Insurance and Dogs

ThomasRandal 10 10 October 14, 2016 at 08:52 AM in Home & Home Improvement (3)
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I had Safeco home and auto insurance for 5 years and decided to go with MetLife for cheaper rate. I was paying $1600 for home and $1300 for auto with Safeco.

The underwriter for the new MetLife home policy was ASI. The new rate was about $1200 and the MetLife auto was $1080, so I was saving considerable money.

A month after I switched, ASI informed me they were cancelling my police because I have "Mixed breed dogs of unknown origin". I do have 3 dogs, and they are mixed breed, but I keep them in a chain link fence. They are not pit bulls or rottweilers.

Now, it appears my only option is a home policy underwritten by MetLife. It is a "grandprotect" policy that is gong to cost $2000/year.

I'am a little leary about shopping around now because of the dog issue.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

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#2
Err dogs can affect your household insurance?
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#3
You might as well shop around since different companies handle dogs differently.
Quote from Metric View Post :
Err dogs can affect your household insurance?
Certainly. According to the link below, dog-related claims accounted for more than one third of all claims made against homeowners/renters insurance in 2015.
Quote from Dog Bite Liability [iii.org] :
Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability legal expenses, up to the liability limits (typically $100,000 to $300,000). If the claim exceeds the limit, the dog owner is responsible for all damages above that amount. Some insurers do not ask the breed of a dog owned when writing or renewing homeowners insurance and do not track the breed of dogs involved in dog bite incidents. However, once a dog has bitten someone, it poses an increased risk. In that instance, the insurance company may charge a higher premium, nonrenew the homeowner's insurance policy or exclude the dog from coverage.

Some insurers are taking steps to limit their exposure to such losses. Some companies require dog owners to sign liability waivers for dog bites, while others charge more for owners of breeds such as pit bulls and Rottweilers and others are not offering insurance to dog owners at all. Some will cover a pet if the owner takes the dog to classes aimed at modifying its behavior or if the dog is restrained with a muzzle, chain or cage.
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Last edited by dhc014 October 14, 2016 at 01:54 PM.
#4
I dont think i was even asked about dogs when i got my policy?
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#5
my gf dog actually bite someone, and her insurance threatened to cancel her insurance if she didnt get rid of the dog.
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#6
I am confused as to why ASI would be underwriting a Metlife Home policy? Seems odd as Metlife is a huge insurance company and Home owners is an enormously profitable area.

As for ASI, I have them on one property I own for a dwelling policy. They are notoriously tough on requirements to insure in my experience. I had one cracked basement window on the property and they literally refused to insure the property unless I fixed the window. The property is in a good area, so it was just them being a pita. Had the window repaired obviously.

As to your options, I would just call an insurance broker and have them run you a set of quotes with the dogs noted in the policy. Most policies have a min period\premium (usually 3 months) and after that you can just cancel it and go with someone else so go with whatever reputable firm offers you the best deal with your dogs in the home.
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#7
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
I am confused as to why ASI would be underwriting a Metlife Home policy? Seems odd as Metlife is a huge insurance company and Home owners is an enormously profitable area.

As for ASI, I have them on one property I own for a dwelling policy. They are notoriously tough on requirements to insure in my experience. I had one cracked basement window on the property and they literally refused to insure the property unless I fixed the window. The property is in a good area, so it was just them being a pita. Had the window repaired obviously.

As to your options, I would just call an insurance broker and have them run you a set of quotes with the dogs noted in the policy. Most policies have a min period\premium (usually 3 months) and after that you can just cancel it and go with someone else so go with whatever reputable firm offers you the best deal with your dogs in the home.
Quote from YanksIn2009 View Post :
I am confused as to why ASI would be underwriting a Metlife Home policy? Seems odd as Metlife is a huge insurance company and Home owners is an enormously profitable area.

As for ASI, I have them on one property I own for a dwelling policy. They are notoriously tough on requirements to insure in my experience. I had one cracked basement window on the property and they literally refused to insure the property unless I fixed the window. The property is in a good area, so it was just them being a pita. Had the window repaired obviously.

As to your options, I would just call an insurance broker and have them run you a set of quotes with the dogs noted in the policy. Most policies have a min period\premium (usually 3 months) and after that you can just cancel it and go with someone else so go with whatever reputable firm offers you the best deal with your dogs in the home.
Has anyone had experience with a carrier that will accept dogs?
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#8
ASI threatened to cancel my policy because I had a trampoline in my backyard. I had to send in a signed letter stating I have removed the trampoline from my property. I had to report what breed of dogs I have - seems they prefer small dogs such as Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas instead of larger dogs like German Shepherds or Rottweilers. I agree with the poster above - shop around because every company is different - I was a former customer of ASI - great rates but tough underwriting - they even took pictures of my home and the property but fortunately they did not ask to come in the house.
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#9
Quote from ThomasRandal View Post :
Has anyone had experience with a carrier that will accept dogs?
Your best bet is to call an independent insurance agent and have them run a bunch of quotes. In fact, you should do this every year with all your policies in my experience. Insurance companies prey on people renewing each year and accepting the annual increase and not shopping around. They generally will never give you the best rate on a renewal.

I had one big insurance company a number of years ago raise my auto policy 300 dollars in one year (no accidents). When I called they claimed that rates went up and there was nothing they could do. I called my agent and he got me coverage with another company that was about 200 lower than the original policy (saved 500 on auto). I also switched over my home and umbrella policies and saved a couple of hundred more. When I cancelled my old policies, they suddenly and magically called me and said they could more or less match the rates offered my new insurer. When I asked why they did not do this when I called previously, I got silence and told them to take a hike. Bottom line, shop around every year for quotes and have no loyalty to them. Whichever reputable one (such as they are) offers the lowest for comparable coverage is the one you should go with... my 2 cents.
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#10
Quote from pmsst20 View Post :
ASI threatened to cancel my policy because I had a trampoline in my backyard. I had to send in a signed letter stating I have removed the trampoline from my property. I had to report what breed of dogs I have - seems they prefer small dogs such as Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas instead of larger dogs like German Shepherds or Rottweilers. I agree with the poster above - shop around because every company is different - I was a former customer of ASI - great rates but tough underwriting - they even took pictures of my home and the property but fortunately they did not ask to come in the house.

In fairness, a LOT of insurers do that with trampolines. Insurers HATE trampolines. They are a magnet for serious injuries not only to household members, but to neighbor's kids.

As to smaller dogs being preferred, that is only logical since smaller dogs are less of a threat to a person or child since they are smaller. I would also think the breed and its reputation has much more to do with it than the size though. I am sure they probably have no issue with Black Labs or Golden Retrievers, which are medium to large dogs and generally very popular with a mild mannered personality.

Also, ASI not only walked the property and took pictures, they inspected the inside including the electric and I think the furnace and hot water heater as well (not 100% sure on those). I have no problem with them doing that as they are doing their due diligence which in the end gets you a better rate. I thought not being willing to insure a property because there is a crack in a basement window is going a bit too far though as that really has no tangible bearing on anything imo. I could see noting it in the inspection and asking that I correct the issue within a few months, but refusing to insure the property because of it is over the top imo.
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Last edited by YanksIn2009 October 15, 2016 at 10:41 AM.
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#11
Huh. I've never been asked about dogs.... trampolines maybe but not dogs. Actually when I bought a trampoline a few years back I called my agent (independent) for advice and he said basically I am not required to report that I have one. If I am asked, be honest, but don't volunteer information.

What bullshit.... I can't have a trampoline on my property because some dumbass will come over and kill themselves? "attractive nuisance"? How about don't come on my property and use my shit without permission. What a retarded legal environment we live in. "Hey I trespassed on someone's property and hurt myself - let's sue them!"
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#12
We changed to Nationwide insurance @ 7 years ago and they asked if we had dogs, along with pool; trampoline etc.

We have friends who have dogs, and about 5 years ago tore the pool liner out of a neighbor's pool, then the dog bit someone a year later, there homeowners insurance tripled for 6 years and are still paying more than what I feel reasonable, they have State Farm.

Travelers was the one we found to be the PITA - when shopping for insurance.
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#13
Quote from Ccan View Post :
We changed to Nationwide insurance @ 7 years ago and they asked if we had dogs, along with pool; trampoline etc.

We have friends who have dogs, and about 5 years ago tore the pool liner out of a neighbor's pool, then the dog bit someone a year later, there homeowners insurance tripled for 6 years and are still paying more than what I feel reasonable, they have State Farm.

Travelers was the one we found to be the PITA - when shopping for insurance.
in 5 years my rental insurance went from 5800 to 14000 with Travelers.
Couldn't recommend them enough to be the ones NOT to call
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for those that hate spelling mistakes www.walmarts.comCool

bulb save money by checking your insurance every 2 years (and not every 20)
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#14
Quote from stufine View Post :
in 5 years my rental insurance went from 5800 to 14000 with Travelers.
Couldn't recommend them enough to be the ones NOT to call

Frankly, I shop around every year. I've always used an independent agent, so he's the one that does the "shopping" - FAR FAR easier than scouring the web to find the best solo and combo prices around. We've probably had 4-5 different insurance companies over the years, we had Traveler's for probably the longest span but the winds changed (figuratively) and they became expensive. The shortest span was a single year with SafeCo.... even did the "snapshot" (I know that's a Progressive term but it's a similar device) to get cheaper auto rates but they still TRIPLED the following year (wtf?). Right now we've been with Hanover for 3 years straight... even filed a few auto claims (glass) in those years and no rate hikes. Only 1 of the past 13 years was it cheaper to get 2 solo policies (home/auto) than a combo with the same company. Funny how that works.
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#15
It's a rip. for me anyways.
Auto has gotten way more money than I've ever claimed.
My first homeowners claim was 2 years ago and that totaled the amount I've paid in those 18 years.
past couple years my insurance went up $200 over the non claim years. Still comes out to a cheap loan (paying the increase)
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