Features June 2011 Issue

How Dog Breed Discrimination Can Affect Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Erin Sullivan’s pit bull, Doc, has his Canine Good Citizen title and advanced training in several canine sports, including tracking. But owning Doc made it nearly impossible to find a company that would sell Sullivan renter’s insurance in Florida, where she moved to take a new job.

How Dog Breed Discrimination Can Affect Your Homeowners Insurance Coverage

Many insurance companies refuse to cover people who own dogs of certain breeds.

When Erin Sullivan’s employer offered her a promotion and relocation to Orlando from Baltimore, she jumped at the chance to leave the cold behind in favor of the Sunshine State. Little did she know that her excitement would soon be quashed as she attempted to find a rental home – and subsequently, renter’s insurance – that would accept her, her Pit Bull, and two Pit Bull-mixes. Stories of breed discrimination by insurance companies (and rental property owners) abound as insurance companies increasingly refuse to write homeowner’s and renter’s policies for people who own breeds of dogs that the insurance industry considers to be “dangerous.” Many opponents argue that the industry’s decisions are based on faulty assumptions and improper use of dog bite statistics.

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