My dog can be nervous and certainly temperamental at times—does that mean I can’t get insurance with certain carriers in Florida? Maybe.

The list of things that property insurers will not cover in Florida grows longer and longer each day, but this one may surprise you. Apparently, Stillwater Property & Casualty will not sell homeowners insurance policies to customers with dogs considered “nervous or temperamental.”1 That is pretty much wide open and gives the carrier carte blanche to classify you as a policyholder ineligible for a policy of insurance with them.

It has been fairly standard for carriers to not write policies for homes with dangerous breed dogs such as pit bulls for some time. This is not due to anything on the property side of the policy, but has to do with the liability portion of the policy. Dog bites can be one of the top causes of liability related losses, however I have friends with pit bull dogs that are nothing more than giant teddy bears that forget how big they are and actually think they are lap dogs.

It seems unfair that property insurers could have a rule making a risk ineligible for coverage that is so open to interpretation such as the “nervous or temperamental” dog example. Imagine facing a question on the application “do you have a dog that is ‘nervous or temperamental?” How do you answer that? That really is open for interpretation.

As we have discussed in this blog many times, it is very important to answer all questions on insurance applications truthfully and ensure that the answers are correct to the best of your knowledge and belief. At the end of the day, it is the insurance carrier’s responsibility to determine eligibility through the questions on an insurance application. Ay Chihuahua!!!!

One thing’s for sure, I don’t think the dog in the photo below is the type of nervous one the carriers would or should be too worried about.

1 Ron Hurtibise, Insurers Widening Lists of Things They Won’t Cover, April 24, 2016, Sun-Sentinel.

  • Gary

    According to an article in the Miami Herald in the last week, this type of exclusion could include many other breeds as well, like Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, etc. This is the kind of blanket condemnation of dog breeds that drives responsible dog owners nuts. It’s not the breed, it’s the owner who doesn’t bother to train the dog.

    Last week when our dog was getting dental work done at the vets, I had a conversation with another man there (holding his little Chihuahua/Italian Greyhound mix), who talked about the fact he also had a Python and a Boa Constrictor that he handled comfortably…and let play around his twin two-year-old daughters. Sounds like a ready-made negligence scenario waiting to happen.

    Why single out dogs? What about poisonous pet spiders or scorpions?