Certain dog breeds can lead to increase in home insurance rates or termination of plan altogether

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Rottweilers, Boerboels, and Chow-Chow's, oh my! That's how an increasing amount of insurance companies are reacting before hiking up housing insurance rates, or deciding not to draw up a policy at all, for consumers with those and other select breeds of dog.

Rottweilers, Boerboels, and Chow-Chow's, oh my! That's how an increasing amount of insurance companies are reacting before hiking up housing insurance rates, or deciding not to draw up a policy at all, for consumers with those and other select breeds of dog.

Companies' decisions to take such drastic action when it comes to families with certain types of dog come after studies began citing the amount that insurers were doling out for dog bites. According to a study by the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites cost insurers $356.2 million in 2007, a 10.5 percent rise from 2006, while the average cost of dog bite claims increased by 11.5 percent to $24,511. Additionally, liability claims, which include dog bite claims, made up almost five percent of all homeowners insurance losses in 2006.

In addition to the aforementioned breeds, American bandogge mastiffs, wolf hybrids, Doberman pinschers, olde English bulldogs and various breeds of pit bulls are among other canines that have connected with policy problems in recent years due to their traditionally aggressive nature, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Orange County's Loraine Lacey told the Times.

However, groups such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ASPCA) have argued that labeling breeds as insurance risks is not accurate and that the breeds are often unfairly stereotyped after actions that are brought out by poor owners and should not be stereotyped as a whole.

"I don't like it. It's just wrong," Jill Buckley, the senior director of government relations and mediation for the ASPCA told the Times.

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Posted: August 13, 2009

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