Farmers accepted me with animal exclusion due to past dog bite. Now dog has died, but animal exclusion stays. How long will I be considered risky?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Aug 1, 2012

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Insurance Question from Richland, WA

Asked on 08/01/2012

Farmers accepted me with animal exclusion due to past dog bite. Now dog has died, but animal exclusion stays. How long will I be considered risky? In late December, my golden retriever mix dog got into a dog fight with a husky. The husky's owner intervened and my dog nipped him - a small puncture wound on the thumb. He never sued, but when I checked my coverage at Ameriprise, they cancelled my policy. Farmers took me on but with an animal exclusion. Dog passed away last week at age 13-1/2, but my agent says the animal exclusion has to stay in place because it is I as the owner who is considered risky. I am not the pit bull type nor do I run **** fights nor am I a gun moll. Question: How long before I can come off the list? Thank you.

Answer given on August 02, 2012

If you have a dog bite exclusion on your homeowner policy and you no longer own the dog, the insurance company should consider removing this exclusion. If you have not talked to your agent or the company, call them and see if they will remove the exclusion. It is still early in the process time since the dog bite, so they may not want to remove the exclusion immediately.You did not indicate if you have or are going to get another dog soon, If so, the breed could cause the insurance company to continue the exclusion. Pit Bulls are not the only dog that is considered a bite risk, and you are proof that even a gentle dog like a Golden Retriever can bite someone.You can also shop with other insurance companies and make it clear that the dog that did the biting is no longer around. Again, since the claim was so recent you may not be succesful in finding a new insurance company.

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