Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

September 25, 2013

Insurer gives Muncie pit bull owners ultimatum

Other insurers say that's common for aggressive dog breeds.

(Continued)

“If anyone in town knows you have a pit bull, no one is going to insure it unless you have a separate liability policy that you can buy for those breeds,” Aber said. “I don’t sell it.”

However, before he could help the Reinkes find a broker who would sell them a stand-alone liability insurance policy for the dogs, “she threw the letter at me and called us dog racists,” Aber told The Star Press. “I couldn’t help her because she didn’t want to be helped. We’re here to help people. That letter was meant for them to get coverage for those dogs somewhere else so they don’t have a gap in their policy.”

Pit bulls are not a common dog for homeowners, according to Aber.

“I have a thousand homeowner policies,” he said. “If 1 percent have pit bulls, that’s probably pretty accurate. People who live in tenant property, non-owner occupants, have pit bulls. A lot of times, they end up at the pound and get adopted by people who are more responsible. It is what it is. Some people are fans of the dog and seek it out.”

Aber said he has no reason to doubt the Reinkes are responsible dog owners.

“There are people who love this breed and think it can be saved and rehabilitated,” he said. “I’m not here to say it can’t, but I offer a product that has rules with it.”

Some insurance companies don’t want to insure pit bulls or other dogs they consider high risk, said Insurance Information Institute Vice President Loretta Worters.

“It really depends on the company how they handle what are considered aggressive dogs,” she told The Star Press. “Some companies who have had large losses from certain breeds will not insure them. Some companies will have what’s called a ‘one bite rule.’ If your dog bites someone, the company will pay for the occurrence, but then either will cancel the insurance or may exclude the dog from the policy, so if the dog bites someone again, the homeowner will be liable.”

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