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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Dogs and Insurance: Breeding Trouble

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Thu, Aug 29, 2013 @ 11:44 AM

    Cover your dog cat pets with personal health insurance from Andrew G Gordon IncDid you know that about one third of liability claims are about or related to dog bites? That's a significant percentage when it comes to claims, which is why insurance companies have a very firm stance on home insurance when it comes to dogs.

    High Risk Breeds

    Behavior of any animal is largely due to genetics. We can have the nature vs nurture biology debate some other time, but you can't deny if one breed bites more than another, genetics are playing a serious role there.

    Because of this, dog breeds with a history of dog bites are most likely to be outright refused by certain insurance companies. Or, if insurance is not denied or cancelled, companies are allowed to increase your premium.

    Here is a listing of some of the high risk breeds that insurance companies tend to refuse to cover or will cover at a more expensive rate:

    • Protect your dog cat pets with personal health insurance from Andrew G Gordon IncGerman Shepherd
    • Rottweiler
    • Doberman pinschers
    • Pit bulls
    • Staffordshire terriers
    • Chow chow
    • Akita
    • Presa canario
    • Great Dane
    • Siberian husky
    • Alaskan malamute
    • any sort of mixed wolf breed

    What Can You Do?

    Fortunately, you can do a lot of things to keep your insurance. There are some companies that do not discriminate against breed, but certain documentation must be obtained by veterinarians or from dog obedience school. Steps such as these will only aid you when it comes to purchasing insurance.

    You can also help your dog out by taking certain steps. By socializing your dog at an early age the dog becomes more receptive to social interaction and less likely to bite. But remember, if any dog is provoked or put into an uncomfortable situation, that dog's aggressive chomper is more like to make a debut- hopefully not with a person.

    Insure your pets in case of health issues with personal insurance from Andrew G Gordon Inc

    For more information on dogs, check out our other informative dog blogs. Having a dog is a huge responsibility, and if you already have one or are considering getting one, the more you know, the better.

    Our agency, Gordon Insurance, quotes with several companies that allow for dogs and insurance to be in the same policy. Other companies we quote with will allow the dog but will exclude dog-related claims. Either way, we will be able to find the best price for the best coverage- just send us an online form or contact us another way. Learn more about personal insurance here.

    Home Quote Request   Contact Us

    Tags: home insurance, dog, liability, pet, liability claims, dog breeds, breed, great dane, husky, pit bull, genetics, nature vs nurture, obidience school, veterinarian

    In the Doghouse

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Insurance

    Wed, Aug 15, 2012 @ 11:38 AM

    Understand your dogs impact on your insurance with homeowners from Andrew Gordon Inc Norwell MAFor many homeowners, a dog is a cherished member of the household; according to the Humane Society of the United States, there are 77.5 million household dogs in the U.S., a whopping 39 percent of all households. Normally, human-dog interaction is a positive experience for both animal and person, but lately, dog-bite statistics have been increasing. Dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims paid out in 2009, costing $412 million and up 8.70 percent from 2008, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

    More than 4.7 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs annually, and nearly 900,000 of those, half of them children, require medical care, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Of those injured, 386,000 require treatment in an emergency department. The rate of dog bite related injuries is highest for children aged five to nine years old; the rate decreases thereafter. With more than 50 percent of bites occurring on the dog owner’s property, the issue is a major source of concern for insurers.

    Dog Owner Liability

    Insure your home and pet dog with homeowners from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MA

    There are three kinds of law that impose liability on owners:

    1. Dog-bite statute: The dog owner is automatically liable for any injury or property damage the dog causes, even without provocation.
    2. “One-bite” rule: In some states, the owner is not held liable for the first bite the dog inflicts. Once an animal has demonstrated vicious behavior, such as biting or otherwise displaying a ‘vicious propensity’, the owner can be held liable. Some states have moved away from the one-bite rule and hold owners responsible for any injury, regardless of whether the animal has previously bitten someone.
    3. Negligence laws: The dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because he or she was unreasonably careless (negligent) in controlling the dog.

    The owner of a dog, however, is not liable if the dog injures a trespasser.

    The CDC recommends the following steps regarding human-dog interaction:

    • Train your dog to help with your homeowners insurance rates with Andrew Gordon Inc Norwell MAConsult with a professional (e.g., veterinarian, animal behaviorist, or responsible breeder) to learn about suitable breeds of dogs for your household and neighborhood.
    • Spend time with a dog before buying or adopting it. Use caution when bringing a dog into a home with an infant or toddler. Dogs with histories of aggression are inappropriate in households with children.
    • Be sensitive to cues that a child is fearful of or apprehensive about a dog and, if so, delay acquiring a dog. Never leave infants or young children alone with any dog.
    • Have your dog spayed or neutered. Studies show that dogs are three times more likely to bite if they are NOT neutered.
    • Socialize your dog so it knows how to act with other people and animals.
    • Discourage children from disturbing a dog that is eating or sleeping.
    • Play non-aggressive games with your dog, such as “go fetch.” Playing aggressive games like “tug-of-war” can encourage inappropriate behavior.
    • Avoid exposing your dog to new situations in which you are unsure of its response.
    • Never approach a strange dog and always avoid eye contact with a dog that appears threatening.
    • Immediately seek professional advice from veterinarians, animal behaviorists, or responsible breeders if the dog develops aggressive or undesirable behaviors.

    Using these strategies should hopefully allow your personal relationship with Fido to be a positive one.

    For the full article, click here.

    At Gordon Atlantic, we have an opportunity to work alongside many outstanding businesses, one of which is Trouwe Hond, a professional dog training and kennel business that is truly top in its class. If you have a dog, check out their site.


    Corbin Foucart

    Tags: house, home, dog, property, insurance, dog training, obedience, trainer, stop biting, liability, homeowners

    A Danger for Dogs

    Posted by Marge Libby

    Mon, Jul 23, 2012 @ 09:22 AM

    Protect your beloved pets with these tips and insurance from andrew gordon inc norwell maDid you know that raisins are poisonous to dogs? I didn’t!  

    A friend of mine recently discovered this the hard way. His dog is fine now, but the thought of what could have happened to his ‘best friend’ alarmed him enough to post a warning to all his friends on Facebook.  

    I think most of us have heard the warning about chocolate, but raisins?!  And all this dog did was lick a salad bowl that had half a dozen raisins left in it. 

    And it's not just raisins but grapes too, which makes sense since raisins are dried grapes. As few as 7 grapes or raisins can cause serious intestinal damage.

    So beware and please check out  for LOTS more info on the many plants and household cleaners that are toxic to your pet and find out what to do in case an emergency like this should arise. Fido and Fluffy will thank you!

    And if you want to learn more about protecting your pooch and wallet with pet insurance, read another staff member's blog here




    Marge Libby

    Tags: dog, puppy, health, safety, insurance, animal, pet, toxic, posion

    Liability Issues: Safety Around Your Home

    Posted by Donna Bellavance

    Wed, Apr 25, 2012 @ 05:52 PM

    Liability issues and claims are proving to be more costly than actual physical damage losses under homeowners insurance policies. 

    Be aware of the many hazards your home may have with personal and homeowners from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MAAccording to the Center for Disease Control there are 4.7 million dog bites each year, and 50% occur on the residence premises. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites or dog-related injuries account for approximately 1/3 of all homeowner liability claims, and the average cost is more than $37,000. Carriers often decline writing coverage if there are particular breeds within the household, such as Bull Dogs, Pitbulls, German Shepherds, Akitas, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Siberian Huskies, and others that may exhibit aggressive behavior or have previously had a biting history.  Some companies may accept such a breed if they are provided evidence of the dog’s participation in an obedience training course.

    Another major issue of concern for homeowner carriers are swimming pools, since drowning is the leading cause of fatal injury to children between the ages of 1 and 4. Homeowners are required to comply with local regulations regarding the pool such as fencing and locked gates.  It is also worthwhile to note that homeowners can be held liable for injuries to strangers using their pool without permission.

    Trampolines account for over 100,000 emergency room visits per year according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Companies can refuse to provide coverage for homes that have trampolines on the premises or may place exclusion clauses or require safety measures, such as nets surrounding the apparatus.

    trampoline pic

    The National Safety Council has reported that falls account for 26% of injuries and deaths in the home. Approximately 2.8 million children were treated in the emergency room last year for fall injuries. Tree houses have been the cause for many of these injuries due to the height of these structures, so carriers may exclude or decline coverage, or apply a surcharge for these risks. 

    Homes with guns on the premises increase the risk of homicide by 40% according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Insurance companies require that guns remain properly secured with safety locks and kept out of the reach of children.

    Heating fires account for approximately 36% of home fires. Since many insurance customers use wood stoves as a secondary source of heat, companies now require proof that these were properly installed, adhere to town building codes, and have been inspected.

    Other causes of potential declination of coverage are the presence of zip-lines and exotic pets at the home.

    Homeowners (and renters!) should make it a point to discuss with their agents if any of the above situations apply to them. It is not worth jeopardizing coverage or having a liability claim denied if the carrier was never made aware of all exposures. To discuss your own liability safety, call a Gordon Atlantic Insurance professional toll free at 1-800-649-3252. Prefer to type versus talk? Click below!


    Tags: home, dog, fall, safety, homeowners insurance, insurance, massachusetts, liability, animals, trampoline, pool, agent, tree house, gun, fire places, wood stove, zip line, swimming, bite

    Dogs: How Much Do They Really Cost?

    Posted by Sue Bird

    Thu, Mar 08, 2012 @ 04:32 PM

    Understand the real cost of your dog or other pet on homeowners from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MAOne of the many factors that can affect your Homeowners Insurance premium is if you have a dog and if that particular breed, whether pure bred or a mix, is on a company’s list of dogs that they will not insure or require a case by case review. Commerce Insurance Company will insure those difficult to insure breeds/mixes if they have completed and passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen Program.

    The Canine Good Citizen program tests that the dog and owners are responsible. And yes, the owner is responsible for making sure the dog behaves itself; training is important. The program contains 10 training tests such as basic sit and stay commands, appearance, and friendliness around strangers and other dogs.

    Other companies may have language in the policy that automatically excludes liability coverage for animals that have a history of biting. If you cannot find a standard company that will insure you because of your dog, there is always the Massachusetts Property Insurance Underwriting Association (MA Fairplan). They may however, exclude coverage for the dog if there has been a previous bite history/claim. Growling, biting, and general attacking will automatically fail a dog.

    There is also insuring the actual pet to consider. Dogs will need to visit a vet for regular check ups and inevitable health concerns. Most pure bred dogs experience more inbred diseases than "mutts," and the costs for treatment can be high. Protect your pooch and pocket book from damage. Policies differ for each pet but can start around $8-$10 a month and go up to about $50 or more. Age, breed, and location of the pet can affect pricing.

    For any questions or concerns about your furry friend: contact us and visit us online at We're here to help you with your insurance needs.


    Sue Bird

    Tags: house, dog, puppy, insurance, massachusetts, homeowners, pets, premium, dogs, puppies, animal, pet, canine good citizen program, fairplan, domestic, domesticated, canine

    Pig A la Mode

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Fri, Oct 21, 2011 @ 04:44 PM

    We tend to think of the more common types of Homeowners claims such as fire, theft, wind damage etc. My dad always called his Homeowners policy his “Fire policy”.  “If it’s not a fire, I’m not putting in a claim”. Times have changed since then and homeowners look to their policy to help them share the burden of loss.

    Cover yourself and pets with homeowners from Gordon InsuranceAs an agent, one of my most memorable claims involved a pet pig. Hilarious- but true! My clients were awakened by lightning damage at their home. It seems that a lightning bolt hit the side of their car, knocking off both hub caps. According to the fire department, the lightning bolt then traveled underneath the paved driveway and knocked off the hub caps on the other side of the car. The bolt then proceeded to travel over to the gate of the Smith’s metal fence, hitting the electric lock and causing the gate to open. Fenced inside was the Smith’s pet pig. The pig became spooked and ran across the street and in the neighbor’s back yard. The pig then ran across the covered in ground pool and fell through the cover. The fire department successfully rescued the pig from drowning.

    • Replacement of the damaged electric lock, replacement for the neighbor’s pool cover, and the fire department service charge were covered on the Homeowners policy.
    • Replacement of damaged hub caps were covered on the auto policy.
    • Rescued & consoled pig…………………Priceless!

    Sometimes, it’s good to sit back and laugh at insurance, which is usually a serious matter. Check out our website for more insurance information and resources, like our whiteboard video series.

    Learn more about your home insurance options here

    Home Quote Request Top 10 Things about Home Insurance  

    Tags: home, damage, dog, cost, insurance, homeowners, funny insurance story, lightning, domestic pig, firefighter

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