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Insurance Carrier: Auto Owners Insurance Company
I filed a claim in January of 2008 for a dog bite that occurred in my home. My dog is six years old and has never bitten before. He was chewing on a rawhide when a child that was visiting my home got too close to him. He felt threatened and snapped at her, catching her cheek in his mouth. He did not maul her; he released her as soon as he grabbed her. The child's mother was close by and when she went to grab the child, the dog was letting go and turned his head and scraped the mother's arm with his teeth. He did not bite the mother. I received a letter from my insurance company approximately 2 weeks ago stating that the company refuses to renew my policy and that the policy expires in November. My husband called the insurance agent and was told that as long as we had our dog they didn't know of any agency that would insure us. I do not want to get rid of my dog. Please advise as to what I can do to keep my insurance and keep my dog.
Insurance Expert Answer:
The problem is you have had a claim -- which every company will ask about. Plus you have the dog. There is a saying that "every dog gets one bite" -- so liability, if any, is usually reasonably modest. However after that point the dog is known to be potentially dangerous. This is something any insurance company will be VERY concerned about as liability for a second bite could be huge.
No matter how much you love your dog and may think it was provoked or a once in a lifetime thing, the insurance companies are concerned about their exposure. Whatever you do, don't lie about anything (or falsely claim you got rid of the dog) if you seek insurance elsewhere or you'll be paying for a policy that will be worthless as the company will rescind at the worst possible time.