I have two dogs. They’re lovely old ladies named Maizie and Molly. Maizie is a sweetheart, but she has a bit of German Shepherd in her. To me, this is a good thing, but to our homeowner’s insurance company, it meant that they had to flex their canine racism. We got this really odd message in the mail:
What was especially weird was that we hadn’t changed our homeowner’s insurance for nearly six years. So to get a sudden breakup letter regarding my dog’s breed seemed especially strange. She hadn’t bit anyone or done anything nefarious aside from the horrid stench she emits from her hind end every so often. I wondered how in the hell it came to pass, after nearly six years of not doing much with my insurance aside from throwing money at it, that my 12 year-old dog, who just spent half the winter snoopy dancing in the snow like a blissful fool, became a liability.
Turns out that insurance companies can just do whatever they want. Go figure.
Our home insurance is through Progressive, so I called them. The woman I spoke with was cheery, bright, informative, and helpful. She told me that the actual home insurance company they were using as an underwriter changed last year. The company that was insuring us was taken over, essentially. The woman asked me about Maizie, as she was also a little confused as to why I would suddenly get a breakup letter.
Maizie is a sweetheart. She’s intelligent and a wonderful dog. She’s kind with most things in this world with the exception of puppies, brown trucks (she doesn’t bark at the FedEx, DHL, or USPS trucks…but the UPS trucks get at her for some reason), and people walking toward the house. This is a great benefit, because she is our watchdog. She’s a mix of a few breeds, but outwardly, she looks mostly like an 85-pound German shepherd.
So when this new homeowner’s insurance company took over our coverage, they sent an adjuster out to our house to just snoop around the outside and take pictures. Yes, they do this, apparently. No scheduled time, no phone call for warning…these people just show up and snap pictures of your home. I get why they have to do it, but the unannounced thing seems a bit creepy as hell.
The nice woman on the phone chuckled when she found the picture of Maizie. The adjuster who came out put in their report that they showed up, walked toward the house, and a large dog started barking at them. They attached a picture of Maizie in the front window barking her face off. The adjuster labeled her a German shepherd, and this insurance company apparently has a zero tolerance policy against all dogs with even a tiny bit of German shepherd in their blood.
Seems misguided, as my German shepherd mix did what she does best: she barked at a stranger approaching the house until the stranger left. Good dog, I say. But instead of scaring off a burglar or something, Maizie scared a person to the point of them cancelling our insurance. I had no idea this kind of thing could even happen.
The woman on the phone was really apologetic about the situation and immediately started searching for a new company to underwrite our homeowner’s insurance…a company that’s okay with good dogs, of course. The helpful woman asked me a ton of questions about the interior and exterior of my house as well as its use and who lives here. After all the questions were answered, she found me a new insurer. And she chuckled when she found the replacement.
The new insurance company provides our home with greater coverage and it costs a little over $200 less per year. She switched our policy over immediately, and we are expecting a refund check for the difference in balance in the mail any day now.
My dog adjusted my insurance policy and earned us a little extra money just by barking at a stranger approaching the house. I had no idea she could make us some money with just a few barks. Hopefully she doesn’t screw up our new policy when their adjuster comes out to snap photos.
I told Molly to get her shit together and make us some money. I’m doubting her motivation for some reason.