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Thread: Do I tell my homeowner's insurance company about our new pup? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-23-2014 07:42 PM
BePrepared
Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
So how does an insurance company have the right to by pass federal acts in place for people with disabilities? That is discrimination and grounds for a lawsuit IMO.

you might not be understanding the nature of insurance regulation. The ADA does not entitle you to insurance coverage, and it doesn't prohibit an insurance company from increasing your premium due to increased loss risk. In my state TDI determines what can and cannot be rated against or denied for. WHY you have a dog doesn't moderate the risk associated with that dog. Insurance companies insure and rate based on risk. It is not discriminatory, because it applies to ALL persons with a given dog breed. I'm not saying it's right, i'm just saying it's the way it works
07-23-2014 07:23 PM
llombardo
Quote:
Originally Posted by BePrepared View Post
yes, the can, and they will IF GSDs are listed as a breed for which they can rate or reject a policy.

and yes, there IS a list. Don't overestimate the knowledge of your average agent... they aren't told even half of the regulations that go into rate placement. The call center is even worse. For the most part, those people are not insurance agents, and have virtually no insurance training. The only place i know of to find those numbers is on the company actuarial tables, and they don't give those to the general public.

So how does an insurance company have the right to by pass federal acts in place for people with disabilities? That is discrimination and grounds for a lawsuit IMO.
07-23-2014 06:00 PM
BePrepared
Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
My point is that I don't believe the list is part of the written policy but it exists as a whole. If it was part of the policy, then all agents at 800 call center and in actual offices would be aware of it. The company I'm referring to will not even charge a higher rate, they just don't renew. I also don't think its fair to restrict dogs based on breed. What happens if a person has a GSD for a disability? Can the insurance company deny that customer?
yes, the can, and they will IF GSDs are listed as a breed for which they can rate or reject a policy.

and yes, there IS a list. Don't overestimate the knowledge of your average agent... they aren't told even half of the regulations that go into rate placement. The call center is even worse. For the most part, those people are not insurance agents, and have virtually no insurance training. The only place i know of to find those numbers is on the company actuarial tables, and they don't give those to the general public.
07-23-2014 03:42 PM
odins_raven That I am not 100% sure of but my guess is no they cant. A service dog or any service animal would not be considered a pet, and I would image they would be in violation of federal ADA laws if they refused to provide coverage to someone with a service animal as it would be discrimination. I can almost guarantee they will ask for paperwork proving the service dog is legit though...
07-23-2014 03:07 PM
llombardo
Quote:
Originally Posted by odins_raven View Post
This issue is pretty cut and dry, not stated in the policy = not enforceable. The reason these lists are out there in the first place is to discourage people/agents from signing up if they own a breed of dog on their ban list. It can also be used as ammunition to deny a claim or coverage if you lied on the initial application about owning a dog on that list as this is one of the things they will ask you when applying for a new policy. (maybe not specifically if you have a dog on the ban list, but they will ask if you have any pets)
Can they deny a person that has a service dog that is on the list?
07-23-2014 02:37 PM
odins_raven
Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
My point is that I don't believe the list is part of the written policy but it exists as a whole. If it was part of the policy, then all agents at 800 call center and in actual offices would be aware of it. The company I'm referring to will not even charge a higher rate, they just don't renew or reject. I also don't think its fair to restrict dogs based on breed. What happens if a person has a GSD for a disability? Can the insurance company deny that customer?
This issue is pretty cut and dry, not stated in the policy = not enforceable. The reason these lists are out there in the first place is to discourage people/agents from signing up if they own a breed of dog on their ban list. It can also be used as ammunition to deny a claim or coverage if you lied on the initial application about owning a dog on that list as this is one of the things they will ask you when applying for a new policy. (maybe not specifically if you have a dog on the ban list, but they will ask if you have any pets)
07-23-2014 01:40 PM
llombardo
Quote:
Originally Posted by BePrepared View Post
There are a couple of reasons why the lists of prohibited breeds would be different in different areas.

The most common is that the insurance commission (TDI for instance) will only approve certain breeds for a company to refuse coverage to. If the department of insurance in that state refuses to allow an exclusion for a given breed, it must be covered. In addition to that, they determine what sort of surcharges are allowed on non-excluded breeds.

The second possibility is that the loss assessment done by one insurance company may see a higher threat level for specific breeds than another company's assessment will for that same breed.

Either way, if you tell them you have a breed on their prohibited list, you will almost certainly receive a non-renewal notice before your next renewal
My point is that I don't believe the list is part of the written policy but it exists as a whole. If it was part of the policy, then all agents at 800 call center and in actual offices would be aware of it. The company I'm referring to will not even charge a higher rate, they just don't renew or reject. I also don't think its fair to restrict dogs based on breed. What happens if a person has a GSD for a disability? Can the insurance company deny that customer?
07-23-2014 01:39 PM
llombardo
Quote:
Originally Posted by BePrepared View Post
There are a couple of reasons why the lists of prohibited breeds would be different in different areas.

The most common is that the insurance commission (TDI for instance) will only approve certain breeds for a company to refuse coverage to. If the department of insurance in that state refuses to allow an exclusion for a given breed, it must be covered. In addition to that, they determine what sort of surcharges are allowed on non-excluded breeds.

The second possibility is that the loss assessment done by one insurance company may see a higher threat level for specific breeds than another company's assessment will for that same breed.

Either way, if you tell them you have a breed on their prohibited list, you will almost certainly receive a non-renewal notice before your next renewal
My point is that I don't believe the list is part of the written policy but it exists as a whole. If it was part of the policy, then all agents at 800 call center and in actual offices would be aware of it. The company I'm referring to will not even charge a higher rate, they just don't renew. I also don't think its fair to restrict dogs based on breed. What happens if a person has a GSD for a disability? Can the insurance company deny that customer?
07-23-2014 01:19 PM
odins_raven
Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
Well the problem lies within the company then. I have made about 4 calls to the same company. If you call the 800 number, the second question they ask is what kind of dogs are in the home. They don't disclose their is a list of dogs that are not allowed. When I asked about the list, I was put on hold and then it was provided to me. When I called an actual office, they weren't aware of a list and had to research it. Suggesting that someone lies about having a dog or not reporting getting a dog just isn't right. Insurance companies tend to have fine lines everywhere and they will fight tooth and nail to find them. I had to wait almost 5 years for a claim on an accident because they did everything they could to try not to pay. Why would anyone want to go through that?
Definitely agree with you about them trying to find every reason why they do not have to pay out a claim, that is why i suggested you read your policy. Nothing spoken to you is binding, it must be in writing (unless you are completing an enrollment via telephone at which point it will be very clear because the employee will have to read from a script verbatim and you have to answer the questions definitely with a yes or no.)

I was not suggesting someone lie about their dog to the insurance company, i was suggesting you read your policy and understand what your obligations are to be covered under the policy. Just like how the insurance company will fight you tooth and nail to not pay a claim, you should fight tooth and nail to protect your own interests which means not disclosing a new dog if you are not required. When you sign up for a policy, you are attesting at that point in time, to the best of your knowledge, you have provided accurate information (guarantee your policy has this exact language).

As others have mentioned, you will most likely get a non-renewal notice or will be assessed a surcharge for having a pet on their "banned breed" list if you bring it to their attention and are not required to. I have been in the insurance industry my entire career so I'm not making this stuff up.

At the end of the day, its your policy. If you want to run the risk of getting a non-renewal or a surcharge which you can easily and LEGALLY avoid then that is your choice, at least you have the facts to make a decision that is best for your situation.
07-23-2014 12:23 PM
BePrepared
Quote:
Originally Posted by llombardo View Post
What if someone gets a dog a couple months into the policy, cals up and states they have a breed, it's on the list, do they renew the policy at the end of the term? And why are the lists different in all areas and not the same across the board?
There are a couple of reasons why the lists of prohibited breeds would be different in different areas.

The most common is that the insurance commission (TDI for instance) will only approve certain breeds for a company to refuse coverage to. If the department of insurance in that state refuses to allow an exclusion for a given breed, it must be covered. In addition to that, they determine what sort of surcharges are allowed on non-excluded breeds.

The second possibility is that the loss assessment done by one insurance company may see a higher threat level for specific breeds than another company's assessment will for that same breed.

Either way, if you tell them you have a breed on their prohibited list, you will almost certainly receive a non-renewal notice before your next renewal
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