Wednesday, March 31, 2010

That bites

I read a news article this week about some families discovering that if they owned certain types of pets, such as what would be classified as 'vicious dogs', they cannot get insurance with many home insurance companies.

I've done my research, and I've concluded that certain dog breeds like pit bulls and Doberman Pinschers, while they may be 'inclined' to be aggressive dogs, this is always the result of selective breeding, training and in many cases, abuse of the animal. To suggest that all 'vicious breed' dogs are a risk would be like saying that all black men are naturally inclined to become gang members. It's stereotyping, pure and simple.

There are statistics that show that the vicious breeds are responsible for the most trauma where dogs are concerned, but you could also argue that people who are training their dogs to be aggressive are typically picking the vicious breeds anyway. In other words, one could statistically state that sports cars are a hazard on the road, but also argue that the reason sports cars might be involved in more accidents is because an aggressive driver is more likely to buy a sports car in the first place. It skews the numbers.

In conclusion, I don't think it's fair that homeowners should be denied the opportunity to equal access to home insurance because they own a certain type of dog. If insurance companies can conclusively prove they are losing money to excessive dog attack liability claims, then perhaps they should charge a premium in those situations. If owners can prove they take steps to prevent risk, there should be no issue at all.

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