Insurance Company Cancels Policy Over Family Dog


Tim Hardy took in a stray dog eight years ago. Hardy brought the dog, Max, into his home and nursed him back to health. Max has been part of the family ever since. Now, his homeowner’s insurance policy is cancelled because of Max.

His insurance company, United Insurance, sent Hardy a letter stating that there was an unknown and/or aggressive breed of dog on premises. Due to this, the company cancelled Hardy’s homeowner’s policy.

When the insurance company asked Hardy what kind of dog Max was, he answered, truthfully, that he wasn’t sure. Max’s owner added that he thought his dog might be a German shepherd/collie mix. Hardy said that once he said that his dog might be part German shepherd, the insurance company cancelled him, no questions or no options to the situation.

Hardy said that his dog isn’t aggressive and has never bitten anyone. There has never been an insurance claim filed on behalf of his dog.

When Hardy asked his veterinarian what kind of dog he thought Max was, he guessed that Max was part Chow. Even though with the veterinarian’s statement, Hardy says the insurance company is not open to making any changes.

The insurance adjuster explained to Hardy that Max looks like it has at least one of the breeds the company considers dangerous.

Hardy said the insurance company sent an inspector to spy on his property. He said that the only possible way they would have seen Max was to peek through the windows.

United Insurance said it is their policy not to insure a home that may have what they consider a dangerous dog. The company would not provide a list of dogs they consider dangerous.

Hardy is on the lookout for a new insurance company that will accept his Max.


17 Responses to “Insurance Company Cancels Policy Over Family Dog”

  1. Amanda says:

    What the heck???? Max doesn’t look like he has any of the “dangerous” breeds in him!!! Also they cancelled the policy when he said possibly German Shepard, since when were German Shepards considered a dangerous breed??

    The stupidity of some people/companies!!!

  2. Sky Eyes Woman says:

    I hope the guy is on the lookout for a lawyer too. Even if the fine print on his policy says he could lose his coverage for owning a German Shepherd, he should still sue them anyway. The dog is a mutt. He might not be able to prove conclusively that he is not a GSD, but the insurance company also will not be able to prove he is.

    I think indeterminate breed + no dog bite claims = no legal grounds for cancellation.

  3. shibadiva says:

    Looks like a sweet chow mix to me.

    So before anyone rescues a dog these days, they need to check around to see if it’s OK with the insurance companies?

    We have compiled lists on the web of vacation spots and hotels that are pet-friendly. And airlines are being reviewed. Maybe there’s something similar for insurance companies so that we can make more informed decisions about our home coverage?

  4. Judy says:

    I don’t know what state these people live but unfortunately in Massachusetts at least insurance companies can cancel your homeowers policy if you do not disclose that you have a dog and or if that breed is on a list.

    And if your dog has actually bit someone you are really screwed only one company will take you.

    Fair no I don’t think it is.

  5. furmom says:

    This dog looks like a Chow, which is irrelevant anyway because even if he was a Shepherd he would not be more likely to bite (unless a bad guy breaks in). We’ve had Shepherds for years and never a problem with our insurance company. Has the company considered that on average a home with a Shepherd would have fewer claims for robbery, since a robber would have to be crazy to enter a Shepherd’s home? We are probably the only home in our area that hasn’t had a break in.

  6. Gayle Phillips says:

    I believe that all of this “vicious breed” hype has gone entirely too far. I’ve seen teacup poodles and miniature dachshunds that would lay your face open in a second if someone would just pick them up and put them there so they could reach. Aggression can occur in any breed. I, too, sincerely hope this gentleman secures the services of a good attorney, he needs one. Insurance companies are one of the wealthiest businesses in the world and if you DO file a claim, all of your paid premiums have actually already paid for it. In a career in law enforcement I cannot count how many times I’ve told people to get a small dog that will alert them to the presence of an intruder. A home invasion artist will pick any other house than the one that has a dog. How many such “freedoms” do we as Americans have to have taken away by big business and the government before we say “enough is enough!” ?

  7. nora says:

    This dog has the sweetest face. Look at those eyes. Gentle to a fault I’ll bet. And since Insurance is really nothing more that legalized Extortion, their decision is not surprising. They care as much about their customers as the large dog food companies and the corporations that own them. They are dishonest and unethical The employees are brainwashed into thinking they are superior as humans and the adjustors play God with Humans lives, and now apparently Animals too. They have to extort as much funds as possible out of the customer to build the Huge office buildings with Gyms and Huge Cafeteria’s that feed an already overfed and mostly obese personell and support the CEO’s and the higher ups 2 - 3 vacation homes and Country Club dues and cover all the Medical Ins that they furnish for the unhealthy overweight employees..

  8. Pukanuba says:

    I live in CA & they ask you a bunch of questions when you have a dog & try to get any kind of homeowners or renters insurance. The first time that happened, I asked why & was told they have a list of aggressive dogs & if my dog is on that list, they will refuse to insure me. This is fairly recent as I don’t remember being asked that question a few years ago.

    The same as any other big business……the name of the game is profit & screw the customer.

  9. Donna says:

    One insurance company stated any dog with “prick ears” is a german shepherd. How dumb can any company become ?

  10. mikken says:

    Madness. How many guide/service dogs are GSDs? I know a disabled woman with a service dog that just happens to be a Rottie - she needed a breed big and strong enough to catch her when she falls and to help her get up again (and the Rottie does laundry, too!).

    Breed discrimination is a foolish path down which we seem to be headed everywhere, unfortunately.

  11. Merlin Marshall says:

    Obviously the insurance company was looking for a way to drop the guy as a customer, and that was the excuse. Its unprovable in any case, but seems especially fishy if they won’t divulge their list of vicious breed dogs. He is better off without this company, they would probably screw him out of a payment if something did happen to his house.

  12. Kathy says:

    Not only is anything with prick ears a German Shepherd, any dog that is black and tan, or black and tan and white, is a Rottweiler! Only solution—keep the blinds closed and the dogs in the house during business hours. I hope someone will start an insurance company for people with dogs as most insurance companies are doing this now!

  13. Lynn says:

    Two can play this game. Lie. Call it an apricot poodle mix if the next company asks.

  14. Thel Josenhans says:

    I think your insurance Co. is a nut………..
    FURMOM ……… says it all …. She is right.
    We have a German Shepard & a Spitzs , both gentel , but , ” crooks “, they can scents ……… The Ins. Co . , should be glad you have a dog , to warn you , robbers , fire, dogs & cats , they know , before us.
    Animals are like people , the way , they are raised , train them to be mean , or gentel, loving, protecters .
    Go with a honest Co. , LOW RATES , ” STATE FARM INS. CO. ”
    You dog is a chow, most are black , He sure doesn’t have German Shepard in Him , you have a ” BEAUTY ” . that Co. doesn’t deserve you, be glad , to get rid of them. T.K.J. Thel

  15. Marie says:

    This is ridiculous! These insurance companies should not be allowed to do this.

  16. Shawna says:

    He should take them to court. I don’t thank it’s right to refuze to give him a list of dogs that he personnelly asked for to show proof if his dog is on the list. And I feel that his vet is right, it does look like a chow mix.

    A lawer can get information from the insurence company, sence he can’t get it himself.

  17. Red Baron says:

    The GSD we had when I was a kid had floppy ears, guess she was a short-haired collie.
    I’d watch saying Chow too. How about a Lab or a golden, or maybe a hound

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