Homeowner's insurance carrier

Message Author
ampm-bookmark
delicious-small Add to delicious
yahoomyweb-small Add to YahooMyWeb
blinklist-small Add to BlinkList
PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:52 pm   Post subject: Homeowner's insurance carrier  

My neighbor's dog bit my son. The dog has been declared vicious by the courts. I want to file a claim for damages against her homeowner's insurance. How do I find out who her insurance carrier is?

cera4m
New member
Leave a quick message



Joined: 14 Nov 2008
Posts: 1


1.64 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 3:59 pm   Post subject:   

You would need to ask them. Baring that, file suit against them.

tcope
Forum Expert
Leave a quick message

tcope
Forum Expert

Joined: 22 Nov 2006
Posts: 6175

Location: Salt Lake City, UT
375.37 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 7:45 am   Post subject:   

I'm sorry your son was bitten. If you could give us some of the details, we might be able to provide you with some more specific advice.



First off, you won't go after your neighbor's insurance company, you'd go after your neighbor. But before you decide to litigate, which is what you'd be doing, let us know what happened and we'll try to give you some initial information to work with.



Your neighbor's insurance policy provides potential coverage, but a person wouldn't sue the carrier here. If you are going to initiate a lawsuit, you would sue your neighbor who would then seek coverage under the liability section of his homeowner's policy. The insurer would then determine whether coverage and liability exist, and you'd go from there.



But again, don't initiate litigation immediately. People are altogether to quick to sue these days. I would never propose to tell you what to do; that's your decision. But so much of the cost of things you wouldn't believe are affected by the cost of litigation, I encourage people to seek alternative methods of settling issues when those issues arise.



On the other hand, if this was some truly vicious attack, or other circumstances that affect the severity of the bite, that's another story. There are considerable potential costs associated with dog attacks depending on the severity of the attack. This is why I'm curious as to the details.



Good luck, and please let us know what's up.



InsTeacher Cool

InsTeacher
Forum Expert
Leave a quick message

InsTeacher
Forum Expert

Joined: 13 Aug 2007
Posts: 1398

Location: Oregon, USA
127.26 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2008 1:50 pm   Post subject:   

I used to handle a lot of dog bite claims..years ago, back then it was commonly referred to as 'the first bite is free'...now a lot of laws have changed, and all states have their own laws...If you'd let us know a few things, such as were was your boy when he was bit, type of dog, where was the owner, has this dog ever bit before, how long have they had the dog, do you live within a city limit, what state are you in, what was your son's injury, etc....what EXACTLY happened to cause the dog to bite?



Frankly I can't imagine these people not offering up their ins companys name immediately or offering to pay themselves...



_________________

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." Martin Luther King Jr.
Lori
Forum Expert
Leave a quick message

Lori
Forum Expert

Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 8080

Location: Missouri
287.93 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:16 am   Post subject:   

I was wondering, since the dog was declared vicious whether the neighbor has the coverage on it or not. I've heard that for specific breed of canines the homeowner insurer even deny the claim. Do correct me if I'm wrong.



However, if the neighbor doesn't solicit the information regarding their homeowner carrier, you're required to sue them immediately. It's true though that many costs are involved into pursuing a lawsuit, but it may be the only solution when you have encountered with such insensitive neighbors. You definitely don't want to be in talking terms with them in the future.



Anyway, please provide us with the additional information that was asked by the community to let us help you in a better way.

jeorge
Senior member
Leave a quick message

jeorge

Joined: 07 Oct 2005
Posts: 798


132.87 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 7:07 am   Post subject:   

It's almost impossible, if not impossible for a HO carrier to get out of providing liability insurance for a dog bite. If they don't want to address such a loss, they don't write the policy. There is usually a question on the application asking what kind of dogs are in the home.



There is no requirement to sue anyone immediately. The state Statute of Limitations comes into play, that is all.

tcope
Forum Expert
Leave a quick message

tcope
Forum Expert

Joined: 22 Nov 2006
Posts: 6175

Location: Salt Lake City, UT
375.37 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:51 am   Post subject:   

I've read that the home insurers maintain a list of breeds of dogs which put more risks for the insurers to insure and therefore may deny coverage to the owners for such dogs. Also dog bite incidents pose greater risk for the insurers. Hence, many of the insurers will not renew the policy once the dog has bitten someone.



However, normally, the HO policies will provide coverage of $1, 00,000 to $3, 00,000 towards dog bite liabilities.

JeremyHolter
Senior member
Leave a quick message

Jeremy Holter

Joined: 06 Jun 2007
Posts: 1185


210.40 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 9:59 am   Post subject:   

The homeowners can actually deny coverage depending upon the breed of the dog, while some may exclude coverage to breeds like pits bull, rottweilers and Saint Bernerd or may ask the homeowner to sign a waiver for dog bite liability, the other may deny the coverage altogether.

simon
Senior member
Leave a quick message

simon

Joined: 28 Sep 2005
Posts: 543


93.69 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:39 am   Post subject:   

Simon they can't deny the coverage, unless there has been a waiver signed or there is material mis-rep, in which case they would void the policy all together (ins lied on app re: dog

Quote:
)...I've read that the home insurers maintain a list of breeds of dogs which put more risks for the insurers to insure and therefore may deny coverage to the owners for such dogs. Also dog bite incidents pose greater risk for the insurers. Hence, many of the insurers will not renew the policy once the dog has bitten someone.
Back when I handled these types of claims, the insured's were ALWAYS non-renewed unless they got rid of the dog...but coverage was provided in most cases...



Quote:
However, normally, the HO policies will provide coverage of $1, 00,000 to $3, 00,000 towards dog bite liabilities.
med pay could kick in as well if the child were on the insured's property at the time of the bite...



I wouldn't go running to an atty to give up a third of MY money, unless it were absolutely necessary....The OP needs to check on local laws and ordinances regarding dogs as well....



I am assuming the dog was declared 'vicious' AFTER this bite is that correct?


_________________

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." Martin Luther King Jr.
Lori
Forum Expert
Leave a quick message

Lori
Forum Expert

Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 8080

Location: Missouri
287.93 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:02 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
The homeowners can actually deny coverage depending upon the breed of the dog, while some may exclude coverage to breeds like pits bull, rottweilers and Saint Bernerd or may ask the homeowner to sign a waiver for dog bite liability, the other may deny the coverage altogether.




Misinformation abounds here, so let's clear it up. The insurance carrier has every right to ask if there are dogs in the household, and every right to ask what type(s) of breed. The insurer has several options as to what underwriting can do if the homeowner owns a dog:

1. The carrier can decline to issue (or renew) the policy, or

2. The carrier can ask the policyowner to accept an exclusion for liability on dog bites and attacks. If the homeowner refuses to accept the exclusion, the carrier won't issue/renew. Simple as that.



The carrier CANNOT get "out" of paying on a claim if the coverage were not previously excluded. No carrier has a homeowner policy liability section that has a standard provision that specifically excludes dogs. It must be done as stated above.



Next, Jeremy Holter wrote:



Quote:
The homeowners can actually deny coverage depending upon the breed of the dog




Again, only if specifically excluded by the insurer or material misrepresention in the application for insurance (thanks Lori, right on target as usual). Material misrepresentation is a whole 'nother story, we'll only go there if someone asks. Confused



Jeremy also wrote:



Quote:
However, normally, the HO policies will provide coverage of $1, 00,000 to $3, 00,000 towards dog bite liabilities.




There is no "special limit of liability" that applies to dog bites. Whatever the amount of coverage under Section II: Personal Liability that the policyowner has purchased will apply in dog bite cases as well. So, if the insured has a homeowner's insurance policy that provides $300,000 of personal liability coverage, that's all they have. $300,000. Not one cent more. So the amount of coverage provided for dog bites is exactly the same as it would be for any other liability claim.





Quote:
However, if the neighbor doesn't solicit the information regarding their homeowner carrier, you're required to sue them immediately.




Absolutely agree with tcope- you're not required to sue anyone. It is your right as an American. Very Happy



And finally, Jeremy finished with:



Quote:
I've read that the home insurers maintain a list of breeds of dogs which put more risks for the insurers to insure and therefore may deny coverage to the owners for such dogs




This is true for most, if not all carriers. There are certain breeds that have a much greater tendency towards attacks and bites than others, and insurers know the numbers here. Obvious "problem" breeds are Pit Bulls, Dobermans, German Shepherds, Akitas, wolf mix, Chows, Rottweilers, and with a few carriers, even miniature poodles (nasty little yappy little suckers- what we used to call "punt, pass and kick dogs." I know, I know...).



Later, ya'll



InsTeacher Cool
InsTeacher
Forum Expert
Leave a quick message

InsTeacher
Forum Expert

Joined: 13 Aug 2007
Posts: 1398

Location: Oregon, USA
127.26 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 11:58 am   Post subject:   

One thing I'm going to add here, that I don't think we've covered...



Homeowner/neighbor buys house and policy no dogs...buys ten pit bulls three years after the policy was issued....noooooooow what? hmmmmmm?



It will depending on the app and the wording...been too long since I purchased a new ho policy I will take a leap and assume that that the area you sign off, saying you have no dogs, would say something like, 'you will promptly notify this company should you acquire a canine'...what about it teach? how is that handled?



_________________

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." Martin Luther King Jr.
Lori
Forum Expert
Leave a quick message

Lori
Forum Expert

Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 8080

Location: Missouri
287.93 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 5:30 pm   Post subject:   

How come I can't remember telling my home owners thnat I have dogs? I think from what I have read that you have to report this. If its true I want to go check out my policy..I have two dogs..none mena but one really protective of me. I would also like to see Ins. teachers answer.

fireyone
Senior member
Leave a quick message

fireyone

Joined: 07 Jan 2008
Posts: 1986


2.38 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:38 am   Post subject:   

Lori, in her own particularly challenging way Wink , wrote:



Quote:
Homeowner/neighbor buys house and policy no dogs...buys ten pit bulls three years after the policy was issued....noooooooow what? hmmmmmm?




Great question. When you fill out an application for HO insurance, just about every carrier I've ever seen asks about dogs and other animals. The question is normally phrased simply asking if there are any animals on the premises, and many specifially ask about dogs. Most carriers have a "watch list" of specifically named breeds that if the applicant owns, the agent can't bind coverage without talking with an underwriter first. That being said, back to your question.



By the way, you should have added to your question "and decided to get into the dogfighting business on the premises." That would give liability people fits. lol Very HappyVery Happy



OK. Let's assume the applicant is being honest and really doesn't have any dogs at the time of application, and buys a dog later. I have never seen language in an application that contains a statement or requirement that an insured report any new dog acquired during the policy period. I think this responsibility rests, frankly, with the producer. Exclamation



The policy coverage language in certain high-falutin' commercial contracts at times contains language that requires the insured to report any "material change in risk or additional exposure" during the policy period, particularly on a claims-made policy, and this normally has a list of required reports that deal with high-risk, strict liability coverage, like elevators and aviation/marine insurance, but I haven't seen that language in a personal lines contract. Even if there was similar language in a policy, how many policyowners actually read the policy, and of those who do, who would know what a "material change in risk or exposure" is? Even if they understood that, would the average homeowner think that buying a dog would create that situation? Methinks not so much... Rolling Eyes



So , the new dog bites the neighbor. Kid crying, doctor/hospital, trauma, psychological damage, blah blah blah. Then it's lawyers, lawsuit, insurance and blah blah blah. Lori, you know how that works. Mad



The policy will, in my opinion, have to cover the loss. This is why I feel that this responsibility lies with the agent. It's the agent's job to know of any material change in risk, and the Law of Agency requires agents to report any changes to the carrier. It's a law effected in many states, deals primarily with laws and rules regarding insurers (principals), agents and third-parties. Fiduciary stuff, really boring. So, carriers get a little more than honked off when they discover that an agent had material knowledge of a change in risk or exposure and failed to inform them. I've seen agents terminated for this failure, and it's ugly, ugly, ugly. Evil or Very Mad



Comments?



InsTeacher Cool
InsTeacher
Forum Expert
Leave a quick message

InsTeacher
Forum Expert

Joined: 13 Aug 2007
Posts: 1398

Location: Oregon, USA
127.26 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:19 am   Post subject:   

EGG...SAC...A...LACK...LEE...



If an HO policy or app says you have to report a new dog, it's guised as you said, like, 'any changes in risk or exposure'...i've never looked but wouldn't be surprised to see it in all ho policys or apps...again, who looks?



In this case, of course coverage is there...now after the claim is paid..that insured is in for a surprise, get canceled, get rid of the dog or both..then good luck on paying those new premiums buddy...



This could be what happened with our OP's' neighbor, and happens alot....new married (yeah right does anyone get married anymore Rolling Eyes ) couple buy new house, then baby comes, then we need a dog to complete the picture perfect family....no misrep or dishonesty they didn't have the dog at the time of the app...



Fire, you don't have to notify anyone unless you policy says something crazy...



_________________

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way." Martin Luther King Jr.
Lori
Forum Expert
Leave a quick message

Lori
Forum Expert

Joined: 10 Sep 2007
Posts: 8080

Location: Missouri
287.93 Dollars($)

PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 3:56 pm   Post subject:   

Lori, never read my policy. yes sorry I was one of those people. When the agent came he said he was going over everything with us and HAD to see the two mixed breed dogs in the yard. Thet aren't any certain breed just a couple dogs left along the road side to die at different times and they ended up at my house where they were given a collar, license, food water and love. I enjoyed your last post...about the pic. perfect family.

fireyone
Senior member
Leave a quick message

fireyone

Joined: 07 Jan 2008
Posts: 1986


2.38 Dollars($)

Quick Reply
Your Name
Subject
Message body
All times are GMT
1, 2  Next  
Page 1 of 2


Get a Quote
Ask Community Experts

flash plugin

Quick Links

Must See

Community

Hot topics in forums

Latest in blogs

    Connection Error: Connection refused