My dogs are part of my family. They love nothing more than snuggling on the couch, playing with tennis balls and making new friends. My pit bull knows many tricks and wows everyone he meets. But now Farmers has decided to treat dogs like mine differently. Families with pit bulls and rotweilers can no longer rely on Farmers when they need insurance to cover the entire family, and existing customers like me are potentially facing a change in policy just because of the way our dogs look.
I got involved in pit bull rescue because dogs like mine deserve a second chance. They often face prejudice from people who have only heard rumors and seen headlines, and never actually met the breed. At Even Chance Rescue, we fight to counter the misinformation about these dogs and support pit bull owners who are facing breed discrimination. It's upsetting when people who have never met your dog(s) make judgements about him, but it's even worse for the dogs. Breed specific policies frequently result in innocent dogs being given up to shelters and losing their lives. And now, I can't believe the insurance company that I've trusted for years and recommend to other pit bull owners is moving against our dogs, too.
These kinds of breed specific policies are opposed by every major dog-related organization, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Animal Control Association, the American Kennel Club, and the Humane Society of the United States. It's been proven ineffective to judge dogs on appearance instead of behavior. Lots of thoughts about pit bulls are false: Did you know that pit bulls score highter than the Golden Retriever on temperament tests (www.atts.org) and excel at jobs like search and rescue and therapy work?
I understand that it's Farmers' job to reduce their liability so they can keep rates low for customers. If they really want to prevent dog-related claims, then they'll judge dogs by behavior, and exclude or raise rates for dogs who have a history of aggression and other high-risk factors, instead of excluding dogs just because they happen to have short hair and big heads. The better change for Farmers would be to require spay/neuter certificates, vet recommendations, training certificates, etc so our family members will have additional coverage against dog related claims. Please give us a chance to show you that we are responsible dog owners.
I appreciate that Farmers will continue to provide home owners and renters insurance for current customers with restricted breeds (that is awesome as MANY companies will hang up on you when you say the word "pit bull" or "rottweiller"), but I'd love to be able to once again recommend Farmers to my adopters as an all-breed friendly company.
Please join me in asking Farmers to drop their restricted breed list. Leave a polite comment letting them know if you're a Farmers customer, if you have a restricted breed, and why breed discrimination is wrong. And if you have more ideas for Farmers on how they can work with customers to continue to offer dog owners great coverage, please let them know!
Please leave breed discrimination out of your policies. I understand you need to reduce your liability to keep rates low for customers, but the new restricted breed list judges dogs based on appearance instead of behavior -- a policy which every major dog-related organization opposes as being ineffective.
A better step would be to exclude or raise rates for dogs of any breed with a history or aggression or high-risk factors. For example, you could require spay/neuter certificates, vet recommendations, or proof of training to determine coverage.
We appreciate that Farmers will continue to provide some coverage to people with restricted breeds (which is awesome as MANY companies will hang up on you as soon as you say the word "pit bull" or "rottweiler"), but existing customers would love to have their original coverage re-instated and to once again recommend Farmers to new customers as an all-breed friendly company. Please replace your restricted breed list with policies that reward responsible dog owners.