Milford (WTNH) - One Milford woman was denied insurance coverage all because ofthe type of dog she owns. And, now she wants to warn other petowners that they, too, may be at risk.
When it comes to her dog Pryor, Laura Pendleton treats him likefamily.
"He was a rescue dog," she said.
Pryor came from a Shelter 9-years ago. And since then, thePitbull Mix has lived with Laura at her home in Milford without anytrouble. She's got paperwork from the vet to prove it.
"He said he is an asset to society and he's a loyal, fun-loving,neutered dog," said Laura.
So, when it came time to renew her homeowner's insurance policy,Laura thought nothing of filling out a questionnaire that askedwhether a dog lived at the residence and if so what breed.
"And I said American Staffordshire Terrier and two days later Igot the renewal notice denied," she said. "And the reason they gavewas that he is an unacceptable mix."
So what changed? Why was Laura being dropped by The Hartford?News Channel 8 asked Laura's insurance agent.
"Initially my understanding is the was a terrier mix and thatdid not present a problem," said Insurance Agent Don Burns. "And ona questionnaire, she indicated the dog was a Pitbull, but breedPitbull which is going to cause a problem with just about everyinsurance company in the world."
"When I called him that night I got the cancellation notice hetold me that perhaps I was too forthcoming on the questionnaire;that upset me even more," said Laura. "I don't think it's fair tobe punished on a breed."
But it's not just Pitbulls that are considered a risk byinsurance companies. Other breeds like Rottweilers, DobermanPincher and German Shepherds are sometimes questioned. It alldepends on the insurance company you are dealing with.
"I think it's discrimination," said Laura.
State Senator Ed Myers proposed legislation that forbidsinsurance companies from denying homeowners insurance because of aspecific breed.
It would all allow homeowners to get insurance at a higherpremium if their dog has bitten someone before.
"I think there is a way out of this and we are going to do thislegislatively," said Sen. Myers.
What does the state insurance department have to say?
"Connecticut does allow insurance companies to exclude aspecific breed based on risk. It does not allow insurance companiesblanket exclusions for all breeds of dogs because the state saysthat would be unfairly discriminatory to dog owners."
This means insurance companies cannot have a policy that saysno dogs will be covered.
The state said because of competition there are insurancecompanies that will insure pet owners like Laura who says Pryor isstaying put.
"Cause he is not going anywhere, he's just not, he's been partof the family for too long," Laura said.
Laura has since found an insurance company that will cover herdog. The legislation may be heard in the coming weeks.
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