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Dogs Are �Ruff� On Homeowners’ Wallets, Insurance

Dogs Are �Ruff� On Homeowners’ Wallets, Insurance

By Michael Ha

NU Online News Service, March 10, 2:51 p.m. EST�Pooch owners often underestimate how big the bite on their pocketbook will be for insurance and other canine ownership expenses, a new study suggests.

According to a report by the U.K.-based Churchill Insurance, it costs some 20,000 pounds�or $38,500 in the current exchange rate�to keep a dog over the course of its life. That translates into about $3,850 for expenses including buying the pet, feeding, grooming and health care costs per year during a four-footed friend’s average ten-year lifespan.

The report, based on a survey of 2,000 dog owners, found that many canine lovers seriously underestimate how much it costs to keep their buddies�expenses that could very well give them pause before buying a dog.

“This report shows that getting a dog is a serious, long-term financial commitment,” Churchill Insurance spokeswoman Julie Owens stated.

The tale told by the study is that some breeds and pedigrees can add thousands of dollars to the overall expense, with the Great Dane, the most expensive breed to maintain, costing up to $61,200. The Rottweiler, on the other hand, costs about $46,800 on average over its lifetime, while a Jack Russell costs $33,600 over its average life of 12 years.

Furthermore, the American Insurance Association notes that keeping a canine friend could soon mean higher homeowners� premiums in Washington State.

The group indicated that legislators there are barking up the wrong tree. It said that if the state�s pending House bill, HB 1016�limiting insurers� ability to underwrite a homeowner�s insurance based on their ownership of a specific type of dog�becomes law, responsible pet owners will face higher insurance costs to subsidize rates for others with meaner breeds of pooches that are more likely to bite.

“Insurers should be able to consider the breed of dog living in the house during the underwriting process,� said AIA assistant vice president, Western region, Steve Suchil, who is lobbying doggedly to defeat the bill.

“Without this information, responsible homeowners will pay higher insurance premiums to cover dog bite losses that will inevitably occur.�

The Insurance Information Institute reports that dog bites accounted for 25 percent of all homeowners� insurance claims in 2003, at a cost of $321.6 million in liability losses.


Posted by rosevine69 on 03/19 at 08:51 AM in Pet People

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