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By Chuck Wells

About a third of all lawsuits against homeowners are now from dog bites. This means the money you pay into your home insurance policy is taking a big bite from these dogs. When a child is bitten by a dog, the parents will sue (even if they are your best friends or closest relatives) you so they can try and get an easy buck from your insurance company. The insurance companies know that if this goes to court, they will lose so they settle the claim and all of us pay with higher premiums.

This is nothing new. We have been working on dog bite claims for years. But the insurance companies have finally looked at how much they have been paying out and are not happy.

So what is happening now? Insurance companies have come up with a list of dogs (the “Hot Dog List”) which are unacceptable because of their tendency to bite:

  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman
  • Great Dane
  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Pit Bull
  • Rottweiler
  • Siberian Husky
  • German Shepherd

If you try applying for home insurance now and have one of these dogs, most insurance companies will reject your application and send you packing. They don’t want to take the chance of your dog biting someone and then they would have to pay out big bucks.

If you have a dog and it bites someone, your insurance company will be asking you a lot of questions about your dog before they agree to renew your home insurance. If your dog is one of the breeds above, you will be history and the chances of another company insuring you are not good. Keep your dogs away from non-household members (especially children) and do not let them run outside without supervision. It is your job to make sure your dogs do not bite someone.

Richard Usher, Jr. was arrested in Georgia for bigamy. The new Mrs. Usher found out about the old Mrs. Usher when Richard received an insurance payment after the old Mrs. Usher died. The new Mrs. Usher was not pleased. The Detective on the case wrote: “The only explanation Richard Usher could offer was that he did not remember marrying (old Mrs. Usher).”

A 17-year-old boy armed with a .38 pistol approached 74 year-old Oran McGlamry and demanded his wallet saying: “Old man, I’ve got you now.” McGlamry grabbed his weedwacker and ran towards the boy. The surprised teen tried running away but fell and McGlamry opened up the wacker full-throttle with the line on the kid’s butt. “I was just trying to do what any other man would have done to protect his business, his wife, and his life,” McGlamry said. No word as to whether or not the kid will sue for his injuries.

In 1945, tax receipts of the federal government amounted to 23% of the total national income. It is now over 40%. State and local taxes have gone from 6% of the national income in 1945 to over 16% now. The average taxpayer in 1945 paid 30% of his/her income to federal, state, and local governments. It is now over 40%. And some people think we don’t pay enough taxes so it would be good to raise them some more.

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