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« Some Thoughts about Omaha and Clarification about Council Bluffs | Main | Hey, that guy's pretty smart! »

July 01, 2008


Laura G

Ahhh, fun with statistics: "Last week I ate one baloney sandwich. This week, I had two. MY GAWD, that must mean that national baloney intake has increased by ONE HUNDRED PERCENT!" (Oh, it has, baby. It has.)

On a more intelligent note, Larry Cunningham addressed exactly that issue back in 2004 (insurance, not baloney... oh, wait...) in "The Case Against Dog Breed Discrimination By Homeowners' Insurance Companies". Excerpt and link below.

Funny that the insurance people are still going on about it...

The Case Against Dog Breed Discrimination
By Larry Cunningham
Copyright © 2004 Connecticut Insurance Law Journal Association; Larry Cunningham

"While dog bites are serious events for those who are bitten, the dog bite problem is not the public health crisis that the insurance industry has made it out to be. Some perspective is in order. The number of fatalities due to dog bites is very low when compared to the number of people who die from heart disease, cancer, accidents, suicide, and diabetes. Likewise, nonfatal bites are responsible for a small number of injuries when compared to other accidental, unintentional injuries. Falls (11.5 million), motor vehicle accidents (4.3 million), drugs (3.3 million), sports (2.0 million), insect bites (1.7 million), bicycle accidents (1.4 million), poisoning (.7 million), and knives (.6 million) all individually outrank dog bites (.5 million) as public health problems. [FN461] Similarly, claims paid out by homeowners' companies for dog bites are miniscule when compared to payouts for property damage. Damage due to fire, water, wind, and theft represent much larger problems for homeowners' insurance companies." Larry Cunningham, The Case Against Dog Breed Discrimination by Homeowners' Insurance Companies, 11 Conn. Ins. L.J. 1 (2004)


Wonder how much money dogs have saved the insurance companies by discouraging thefts???

KC KS Kills Dogs

If anyone knows how insurance risk models are formulated by actuaries, it isn't rocket science to realize no standard data base to extrapolate dog bite data even exits.

Think about the risk models developed to determine pricing and risk for automobile drivers. Every state has standards for collecting the data, which in turn is analyzed by an actuary.

Once again the insurance industry is just using media hype as an excuse to not pay out claims. It will take responsible dog owners to push this through the court systems to prove that the risks the insurance industry claims exist are fabricated.

Public Liability Insurance

I agree that owning a dog is safe but all this commotion is due to statistics. Who cares about statistics? Cost of the bites may rise, maybe due to the fact that more people are following through their claims. Next year they might drop. Insurance companies should stop moaning - they make enough money to deal with it!


Good point, Adam. My company doesn't care if you own dogs or what kind they may be - they say the same thing you do - that dogs keep people out of the house and are therefore a benefit overall.

When I asked why some companies discriminate against the owners of some shapes of dogs, my agent said it's because of the higher probability of lowlives trying to cash in when the dog is a media darling.

It all comes back to media irresponsibility in my opinion.

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