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Is it legal for my home insurance to request we euthanize our dog?

Q:

Hello it is time to renew our home insurance and the insurance company says my dog is considered dangerous. The salesperson told my father to kill our dog by Monday 4/19/2013 just so we could get insured by them. Is that legal?

A:

There is legislation pending in many states to make it unlawful for insurance companies to refuse to issue or renew a homeowner's insurance policy or to cancel or charge an increased premium for such policy based upon the keeping of a dog of a specific breed or mixture of breeds. Until these bills get passed, insurance companies generally have wide discretion in most states. Not all insurance companies have the same policies so it is important to shop around. Also, there are regulations pertaining to the number of days notice one must get before a policy is not renewed or is canceled so that should be checked out. Contacting one’s state insurance commissioner would be a start. There are also companies that specifically offer a separate liability policy which covers dog incidents. Although I cannot recommend any particular company, Dog Fancy magazine indicated in an article that the Lester Kalmanson Agency in Maitland, Florida issues stand-alone dog policies. According to this article, the breed of the dog does not matter, although the dog’s biting history might.


Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Elinor Molbegott

 

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