Proposed Connecticut bill targets insurance policies, dog breeds

Dog Bites & Injuries,Firm News On Saturday, January 31, 2015

When a dog attacks someone, the owner of the pet may have to cover the cost of any resulting medical treatment or trauma. A dog bite can be quite expensive, especially if there is a need for reconstructive surgery or physical therapy. For many people in Connecticut, a homeowner’s insurance policy may help to foot that bill. One state lawmaker is trying to change the way providers handle such issues.

The Insurance Information Institute reports that more than 33 percent of all liability claims paid in 2013 were a result of a dog bite. According to the president of the Insurance Association of Connecticut, homeowners who have certain breeds of dogs are often seen as a greater liability. A representative from the Insurance Information Institute said that it is typical for providers to ask about the breed of a dog just as they would ask about a swimming pool or any other factor that would increase liability.

However, a state representative claims that many people in Connecticut who own these types of dogs are having a difficult time getting coverage. She states that in some cases, homeowners either lie about the breed of their pet or they are forced to pay higher rates. Therefore, the lawmaker has submitted a bill to a state committee that would make it illegal for providers to ask about the animal’s breed or discriminate against homeowners who have such pets.

Critics say that the legislation would simply add to an increase in insurance policies across the board. The Insurance Information Institute reports that Connecticut has the 10th most expensive homeowners’ insurance policies in the country, averaging $1,096 in 2011. No matter what comes of the proposed legislation, it is imperative for anyone who has been a victim of a dog attack to consult with an attorney to try to secure compensation for damages.

Source: Hartford Courant, “State Rep. Wants To Take Dog Breed Out of Homeowners Policy Equation,” David Moran, Jan. 23, 2015


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