Are You on a 'Short Leash'? Springtime Tips for Dog Owners

Homesite Insurance Offers Tips on Insurance for Pet-Related Incidents



Apr 12, 2001, 01:00 ET from Homesite Insurance

    BOSTON, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Warm weather means more time outdoors --
 and more chances to play with your pets.  And while walking your pooch on a
 sunny Spring day is one of the great joys in life, it's important to use care
 and caution when bringing your pet out of the house.
     According to the Humane Society, about 40 percent of American households
 own a dog. Many of these households also have insurance policies that, to some
 extent, provide protection for dog-related accidents. However, the New York
 based Insurance Information Institute reported that in 1999 insurers paid out
 over 1 billion dollars to cover claims for medical and liability costs related
 to dog bites. In addition, industry sources report that dog bites account for
 one-third of all homeowner insurance liability claims.  Amazingly over 70% of
 all attacks occur on the owner's property, according to Time Magazine.
     That's because dog bites are on the rise. In fact, the National Center for
 Injury Prevention and Control reports that the number of dog bites requiring
 medical attention jumped 37% between 1986 and 1996.  The national Humane
 Society reports that there are as many as 3 million dog bites each year.
     Predictably, there has been a sharp increase in premiums for dog-related
 insurance protection, as well as tougher standards imposed by insurance
 companies. In fact, many insurers are now refusing to write coverage for
 owners of certain breeds.
 
     How can you be sure that you and your pup are covered should a problem
 arise? Here are a few tips:
     Best of Breed?: Some insurers simply refuse to provide coverage if you own
 a breed of dog deemed to be "aggressive." While standards vary from company to
 company, and from state to state, dogs that typically raise red flags are the
 Akita, Chihuahua, Chow Chow, Cocker Spaniel, Collie, Doberman Pinscher, German
 Shepherd, Pit Bull, and Rottweiler.
     Training and Prevention: The ways that you train and care for your dogs
 can have a tremendous impact on their behavior and increase your chances of
 purchasing appropriate insurance. Here's some advice:
     -- Teach your dog to obey commands.
     -- Try to make your dog comfortable with other dogs and other people.
     -- In addition to training, a dog's disposition can be altered through
        spaying and neutering. This is particularly true for male dogs.
     -- Even on your own property, obey leash laws. According to the Centers
        for Disease Control, most dog-related fatalities involve unrestrained
        dogs.
     -- Keep your dog away from threatening or teasing situations. Dogs react
        strongly to threats and taunts, whether real or imagined. In fact,
        children who are not experienced with pets are often attacked by dogs
        that misinterpret their actions.
     Remember, most homeowners policies do provide some level of protection
 should your dog be involved in any unfortunate incident. As the owner,
 however, you must do your part to make sure you never need that protection.
 Train your pet properly, obey all laws and regulations, and use caution and
 common sense when bringing your dog outdoors.
     Homesite Insurance offers homeowners, renters and condominium policies
 that provide comprehensive protection. The company's policies include coverage
 for medical expenses, if someone is injured on your property, and liability
 exposures, protecting you against certain risks up to $100,000 per accident
 for bodily injury or property damage. Higher limits of liability and medical
 expense coverages are available. For a free homeowners or renters insurance
 quote, please visit us at www.homesite.com or call to speak to a licensed
 insurance specialist at 1-800-Homesite.
     Homesite Group Inc. was formed in 1997 and launched in 1999, and is
 dedicated to providing U.S. consumers with low-priced homeowners insurance
 coverage and outstanding service.  Homesite's insurance products are marketed
 directly to consumers, as well as through affinity groups, employers and
 selected partners.
     Homesite was launched with equity commitments of more than $200 million
 from an investment group led by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Private Equity, the
 private equity business of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (NYSE:   MWD).  Since its
 founding 15 years ago, funds managed by Private Equity have invested $4
 billion in more than 160 companies around the world.  Morgan Stanley Dean
 Witter Private Equity manages a group of funds that invest in technology
 companies with a focus on e-commerce, data communications, Internet
 infrastructure and information technology services.
 
 

SOURCE Homesite Insurance
    BOSTON, April 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Warm weather means more time outdoors --
 and more chances to play with your pets.  And while walking your pooch on a
 sunny Spring day is one of the great joys in life, it's important to use care
 and caution when bringing your pet out of the house.
     According to the Humane Society, about 40 percent of American households
 own a dog. Many of these households also have insurance policies that, to some
 extent, provide protection for dog-related accidents. However, the New York
 based Insurance Information Institute reported that in 1999 insurers paid out
 over 1 billion dollars to cover claims for medical and liability costs related
 to dog bites. In addition, industry sources report that dog bites account for
 one-third of all homeowner insurance liability claims.  Amazingly over 70% of
 all attacks occur on the owner's property, according to Time Magazine.
     That's because dog bites are on the rise. In fact, the National Center for
 Injury Prevention and Control reports that the number of dog bites requiring
 medical attention jumped 37% between 1986 and 1996.  The national Humane
 Society reports that there are as many as 3 million dog bites each year.
     Predictably, there has been a sharp increase in premiums for dog-related
 insurance protection, as well as tougher standards imposed by insurance
 companies. In fact, many insurers are now refusing to write coverage for
 owners of certain breeds.
 
     How can you be sure that you and your pup are covered should a problem
 arise? Here are a few tips:
     Best of Breed?: Some insurers simply refuse to provide coverage if you own
 a breed of dog deemed to be "aggressive." While standards vary from company to
 company, and from state to state, dogs that typically raise red flags are the
 Akita, Chihuahua, Chow Chow, Cocker Spaniel, Collie, Doberman Pinscher, German
 Shepherd, Pit Bull, and Rottweiler.
     Training and Prevention: The ways that you train and care for your dogs
 can have a tremendous impact on their behavior and increase your chances of
 purchasing appropriate insurance. Here's some advice:
     -- Teach your dog to obey commands.
     -- Try to make your dog comfortable with other dogs and other people.
     -- In addition to training, a dog's disposition can be altered through
        spaying and neutering. This is particularly true for male dogs.
     -- Even on your own property, obey leash laws. According to the Centers
        for Disease Control, most dog-related fatalities involve unrestrained
        dogs.
     -- Keep your dog away from threatening or teasing situations. Dogs react
        strongly to threats and taunts, whether real or imagined. In fact,
        children who are not experienced with pets are often attacked by dogs
        that misinterpret their actions.
     Remember, most homeowners policies do provide some level of protection
 should your dog be involved in any unfortunate incident. As the owner,
 however, you must do your part to make sure you never need that protection.
 Train your pet properly, obey all laws and regulations, and use caution and
 common sense when bringing your dog outdoors.
     Homesite Insurance offers homeowners, renters and condominium policies
 that provide comprehensive protection. The company's policies include coverage
 for medical expenses, if someone is injured on your property, and liability
 exposures, protecting you against certain risks up to $100,000 per accident
 for bodily injury or property damage. Higher limits of liability and medical
 expense coverages are available. For a free homeowners or renters insurance
 quote, please visit us at www.homesite.com or call to speak to a licensed
 insurance specialist at 1-800-Homesite.
     Homesite Group Inc. was formed in 1997 and launched in 1999, and is
 dedicated to providing U.S. consumers with low-priced homeowners insurance
 coverage and outstanding service.  Homesite's insurance products are marketed
 directly to consumers, as well as through affinity groups, employers and
 selected partners.
     Homesite was launched with equity commitments of more than $200 million
 from an investment group led by Morgan Stanley Dean Witter Private Equity, the
 private equity business of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter (NYSE:   MWD).  Since its
 founding 15 years ago, funds managed by Private Equity have invested $4
 billion in more than 160 companies around the world.  Morgan Stanley Dean
 Witter Private Equity manages a group of funds that invest in technology
 companies with a focus on e-commerce, data communications, Internet
 infrastructure and information technology services.
 
 SOURCE  Homesite Insurance