The breed of the dog in and of itself is not enough to establish vicious propensity of the dog. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have done research on the various breeds. About twenty-five breeds of dogs were involved in 238 fatal dog bites, according to a twenty year study performed by the CDC which was published in 2000. The report indicates Pit bulls and Rottweilers were involved in more than half the fatalities resulting from dog bites. You may already be aware that the insurance industry is fighting to eliminate coverage for dog breeds known to have high bite rates. Multiple high-profile dog maulings, such as the fatal attack on the woman in San Francisco by two Presa Canarios in 2001 have raised concerns by the insurance industry. I have heard reports that commonly known insurance companies either have cancelled or refused to write homeowner’s policies for individuals with certain dog breeds. The “hit list” includes the breeds you would expect, including Pit Bulls, Rottweiler, German Shephards, Doberman Pinschers, Chows, Wolf hybrids, and Presa Canarios. Most insurance companies do not automatically reject owners with certain breeds, but may require letters from veterinarians, dog obedience certificates or a home visit by an insurance agent.
Multiple insurance companies in Pennsylvania are trying to cancel insurance for people with certain dog breeds and there is litigation occurring regularly on this issue. For a more detail explanation of Pennsylvania law in relation to your situation, please call us at 215-576-5150 or our 24 hour toll free number to connect through to our office to ask your specific question of someone who can properly advise you before you call the insurance company.
The insurance company has an adjuster who is very anxious for you to sign some forms and give you a little “something” for your trouble. He may promise to “take care of your medical bills” after you sign a few papers. Don’t fall into that trap. Read the next section of the PA Dog Bite book, written by the Worthington Law Group, very carefully!