Industry Files Dog Exclusions for Homeowners Policies

February 28, 2011

A national insurance advisory organization is filing three endorsements to allow insurers to exclude personal and umbrella liability coverage for injury or damage arising from dogs.

The American Association of Insurance Services (AAIS) develops standardized policy forms and rating information used by more than 600 property/casualty insurers as the basis for policies they sell in one or more lines of insurance.

AAIS is filing an endorsement under its homeowners program that excludes coverage for bodily injury, property damage (BI/PD), and medical payments arising from direct physical contact with a canine or canines identified in the endorsement.

The endorsement must be signed by the named insured to acknowledge the limitation on coverage under the policy.

Manual information that accompanies the endorsement advises program users about using distinguishing characteristics beyond the dog’s name (which could be changed by the policyholder) to identify an animal definitively.

In addition, AAIS is filing two canine exclusions under its Personal Umbrella Program (PUP):

  • One excludes coverage entirely for BI/PD arising from direct physical contact with any canine; and
  • The other excludes such coverage with an exception allowing coverage to the extent that such BI/PD is covered by underlying insurance (or would have been covered but for the exhaustion of its limits).

The PUP exclusion with the exception is designed to correspond with the newly-filed homeowners canine exclusion. If the AAIS homeowners canine exclusion is included in the underlying insurance, the umbrella can still be written to respond to BI/PD claims from canines other than the one identified in the homeowners endorsement schedule.

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