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Old 01-06-2009, 12:51 PM   #1
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Las Vegas , Nevada
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Pit Bull vs Homeowners Policy

In August 08 we updated all of our Insurance Policies, which involved changing our homeowners to a different company.

Check out this letter we received today, dated 01-02-09:

Dear Policyholder(s):

We have received information regarding your dwelling located at above address. As a result, we feel the possibility of future losses can be minimized by completion of the attached improvement recommendations.

1) Relinquish the care and ownership of your Pit Bull.


DUE DATE: Please return this letter no later than March 1, 2009. If not returned on the due date, we will assume the improvements have not been completed. Then they ask for my dated signature.

I'd like to mention that when we opened the policy the agent showed some concern, did some checking on his computer, then said it should not be a problem. Now sometime in November a Gentleman from the Ins. Co. showed up at our door wanting to take pictures of front, back & sides of residence. He shows concern about having a Pit Bull but by the time he left he stated "I cant see where this dog should be any problem."

Not that age would make any difference but I'd like to mention this "Boy" will be thirteen (in people yrs.) years old in Feb. and has been part of our family since the day he was born and this Ins. Co. is requiring us to relinquish him!!! They must of made this choice based on the reputation of his breed, and not even considered any other factors.

WE wont even consider what they are saying but before we contact our agent I'd like to get some comments from any Forum members. Can an Ins. Co. even legally do this?? Even if our agent has a way to work around this we no longer feel a company with this type of policy is one that we want to continue supporting in the first place. What do you guys think??


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Old 01-06-2009, 01:19 PM   #2
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WOW! How did they know you had the dog in the first place? We've noticed more and more campgrounds banning certain breeds; we even stopped (and left) a campground that had a weight restriction.

"A settled wisdom, plus the itch to be elsewhere"
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:31 PM   #3
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It's time to shop again! IMHO
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:02 PM   #4
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We were dropped by several ins co's due to "excessive brush". We finally ended up on a state sponsored plan that charges us 4 times what we were paying. They told us we could remove the "brush surcharge" by removing all brush between 1' and 12' from the ground on our almost two acre parcel, and on two of my neighbors properties as well- up to 400 feet from our house! this is way more clearance than the fire dept wants. I live in the F'in forest for crissake. They would like me to make it a desert if possible. What really irks me is that no one else in my neighborhood has had this happen, yet we are all in the same position as far as the brush situation is concerned.
On top of that, they won't cover me for mudslides or landslides, which I will almost certainly have, after they make me remove everything that is holding the soil in place.
reality bites, good luck, Rich
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:12 PM   #5
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Such a bummer that pits get such a bad rap. I don't know what I would do if that suggestion was made to us. I know in the back of my mind this is why I will never shop around for another policy holder for our property. Things are better left unseen and unsaid.
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:28 PM   #6

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Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Thumbs down Pit Bull ? Change the name...

Tell your insurance company that it's an American Staffordshire Terrier.

Refer them here......

Pet Pit Bull - Petey of Our Gang / Little Rascals
AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:40 PM   #7
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State statutes and insurance dept regulations set the rules about on what grounds an insurance company can refuse coverage or cancel coverage. The more conservative the state gov't, the more likely the insurance company can do whatever it wants.

Since insurance companies are only interested in collecting premiums and never paying out claims, they look for ways to eliminate covering any possible risk. The rules are often vague and allow poorly compensated and not too bright employees to decide not to cover anything. The idea of insurance used to be sharing risk amongst many people so that everyone is protected; that idea has been lost.

A salesman will try to sell insurance to just about anyone because commissions have been cut and cut over the years (the companies don't like to pay employees either). Later, as in the dog situation, someone may discover that you have a pit bull and that's when the issue comes up. In the case of requiring someone to live in a desert, it seems an overeager employee trying to make a name for himself, but maybe they haven't gotten to your neighbors and they will get the next letter. This sounds like an overreaction to recent fires and an argument against it is mudslides, but they won't cover them anyway.

There's not a lot of sympathy for people willingly living in fire prone areas or along the ocean in hurricane territory. Our house is surrounded by a piņon/juniper/cedar forest which is highly flammable, so I share concerns. The forest has been cleared 100-250', so I didn't run into any problems over that. We did have a problem finding a company that would insure a log house—not because they burn easy (they don't), but fixing them is very expensive. Nothing has changed here since we got our present company several years ago, but the rates have increased more than 50%. I guess we're paying for hurricanes and fires elsewhere.

You can check with the state insurance commission/dept and see what you can find out about the rules and whether the company is following them. The policy should have some language about cancelations. In the dog situation, it may be easier to find another company. Times have changed a lot since Budweiser used a pit bull in advertising and many towns and cities have banned them. I wouldn't give up a family member either, so good luck.

Since there have been fires every year in California, Viking is also in a bad situation. Because your rates are so high, you have a greater economic interest (no other insurance available) in finding a solution. Maybe buying an individual foam system to prevent losing the house and/or automatic sprinklers would be a deal you could work out with them—foam systems will save houses and fire dep'ts use them on a grand scale; it's a worthwhile investment (and should incresse properly values vs. a desert would reduce them), though I haven't done it. Since the state is involved in your insurance coverage, contact your legislators and see what they can do. You may need to hire an attorney to argue your case.

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Old 01-06-2009, 03:48 PM   #8
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Whoa - I would be flipping mad if this happened to me. In fact, I'm a little ticked off for you myself!

I'd start shopping around for another insurance company. And if anyone ever asks, I'd say your dog was a Boxer mix. None of anyone's business but yours, particularly if you are a responsible dog owner.
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:57 PM   #9
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Unbelievable that they would demand you to give up your dog to keep their policy. I agree, there's got to be someone else you can go with for your insurance. You might want to contact your local pit bull rescue and ask them if they recommend any insurance sompanies that aren't idiots. I'm no fan of pit bulls, but asking someone to give up their dog when they haven't done anything wrong is rediculous!

I would report them to your state insuance commisioner as well.

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Old 01-06-2009, 04:16 PM   #10
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Buddy was great for the two of us

I got Buddy when Kim & I were dating. He sensed that I cared for her a lot, and took good care of Kim when I was not around. He scared off several threats. Buddy was a pit bull mix.

Buddy & I got along great. But there were times that I could tell that he knew who fed him and, as a consequence, cut me some slack on occasion.

Kim could not walk Buddy as he considered all passers-by as threats. Kim & I together had no problems.

While I miss Buddy, I am happy he was not with us by the time we had kids. He would not have worked out.

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Old 01-06-2009, 05:55 PM   #11
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What's the difference between a pit bull and a boxer-lab mix if no-one see's the "papers"? Heck, my firend's great dane/lab mix looks like a pit, abeit a bit tall. I wonder if an insurance agent would challenge that?

Laura (a prior American Pit Bull Terrier owner and boxer-lab mix owner--- they looked almost exactly alike and, thankfully, similar temperments too!)
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:29 PM   #12
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Tell them what you think by cancelling the policy and shopping elsewhere. I'd also recommend posting the name of the insurance company on as many Pit Bull forums and e-mail lists as you can, so that other admirers of the breed can avoid the company, if desired. Contact rescues and breeders with the word and have them spread this bit of information. The purchasing power/political clout of dog enthusiasts is pretty impressive.
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Old 01-06-2009, 07:14 PM   #13
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I agree with Cameron. Spread the word!

Probably the best-behaved dog ever is "Daddy", trained by Cesar Millan (the Dog Whisperer), and he's a pit, as are most of Cesar's dogs.

The funny thing is, most people can't identify a pitbull from pictures. Check out this site: Pet Pitbull - Find the Pit Bull
Lisa and Paul

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Old 01-06-2009, 08:08 PM   #14
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I am not a pitbull owner, but have seen both sides of this Pitbull argument. A story I read the other day was from Sports Illustrated concerning Michael Vick's former pit bulls. These dogs have made an AMAZING turn around. Once killers in a ring, they are now family pets of people. Sports Illustrated: The Good News from Bad Newz Kennels. On the other hand you see stories like the nine year old boy who put a pit bull in a rear naked choke hold for twenty minutes while it was attacking his friend and her dog. The boy had only been taking jiu jitsu classes for 2 months when this occurred. Boy Stops pit bull attack with jiu jitsu choke hold.


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