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Insurance Companies’ Attack on Dogs: Breed Specific Insurance Exclusions

Granite Law Group

For the past 35 years, our firm has handled numerous dog bites and attacks, some involving very serious and permanent injuries. Meanwhile, insurance companies have been loathing claims involving dogs because dog bite claims account for nearly one third of all homeowner insurance claims. Some breeds, such as the pit bull started to get a bad rap early on as being a breed notorious for aggression and attacking people. Local ordinances and state laws were enacted to place additional restrictions on these breeds. However, recently the pendulum has been swinging the other way.

Last October, Massachusetts legislation banned any breed specific laws within the Commonwealth thereby abolishing all local ordinances which had placed additional restrictions on pit bulls and other such breeds. Other states followed suit. Despite the legislature changings it stance on specific dog breeds, insurance companies refused to follow suit. Instead, most insurance companies have breed specific insurance exclusions. Below are common breeds that most insurance carriers will not cover under their insurance policies:

What is the matter between bad dog and bad owner continues to be debated, the news continues to provide us with conflicting stories about these dogs. For example, this past weekend a ten year old child was bit three times by a pit bull in Derry, New Hampshire. On the flip side, in New York, a pit bull saved its owner from a burning building.

What are your thoughts on breed specific legislation and breed specific insurance coverage? Share your opinion on the bad dog/bad owner debate.

Irrelevant of breed, if you were attacked or bitten by a dog, call the Granite Law Group for a free case evaluation at (603) 883-4100 or fill out the form on this page and an attorney will be in touch with you.

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