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Farmers Insurance Limiting Liability Coverage for Three Breeds of Dogs in California

Source: A.M. Best

Posted on 14 Feb 2013 by Neilson

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Farmers InsuranceFarmers Insurance has "made the decision to limit liability coverage" in California for dog bite claims for three breeds of dogs, including Rottweilers, a spokeswoman the company said.

Farmers Insurance reviewed its liability claim history "and determined that three breeds accounted for more than 25% of our dog bite claims," said Erin Freeman, chief communications officer for Farmers Insurance. The other two breeds are American Staffordshire Terrier and wolf hybrids. "We also found that these three breeds caused more harm when they attack than any other breed," she said.

The company is not canceling homeowners polices, Freeman said. "We are asking customers who have previously reported that they have a dog to sign an exclusion waiver that states that they acknowledge that they will not have liability coverage for dog bite claims for any of these three breeds."

It takes effect for transactions processed after Jan. 15. If waiver is not signed, the policy will not be renewed at the renewal period.

"We are one of the last insurance companies in California to make this policy change, " Freeman said.

The top five writers of homeowners multiperil in California by market share in 2011 were State Farm Group, with 21.91% market share; Farmers, with 16.62%; Allstate Insurance Group with 9.2%; California State Auto Group, with 6.55%; and Liberty Mutual Cos., with 5.29%, according to BestLink


Jeff Neilson Feb 16 2013 7:10AM Report Abuse
A insurance agent in FL Deb Turner developed the Covered Canine Policy which is a inexpensive dog bite liability insurance product that offers protection for dog owners in the event their dog bites an individual and causes harm. For a premium of as little as $75 annually per dog, policy limits range from $50,000-$100,000. In stark contrast to other policies, Covered Canine does not seek to exclude any particular type of dog; behavior – not the breed – is examined to determine suitability for coverage. This approach is central to Turner’s unique understanding of dog behavior and has turned underwriting this risk on its floppy ear.
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