Denying new home coverage and likely dropping current one due to dog bite claim NEVER FILED

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Contributor

I have two disabled children, one with autisitic and ADHD.  We also have three dogs (they provide comfort to my children).  They are very sweet, but the oldest one can be very protective in our home and yard, particularly around strangers.  We have a very strict rule in the house of not letting the dogs near the door when someone comes over.  This is something we follow ourselves and have been trying to ingrain into the minds of our kids

 

Unfortunately, We are constantly struggling to keep my son from doing things he should not, but we cannot watch him every second.  One day the doorbell rang.  Despite telling him over and over again not to open the doors without keeping the dogs back, he ran to the door and flung it open without noting where the dogs were.  There was a random guy who was delivering Amazon packages from his van.  He saw the dog and panicked, which in turn led my dog to go into protaction mode.  She barked at him and got close and bit his thigh.  It was not a serious injury, and I took great pains to care for his wound (cleaning, giving neosporin and bandaids, etc).  We also spoke to Amazon right after it happened, and immediately provided documentation that ALL my dogs were up to date on their shots.  He seemed understanding and also admitted it was not much of a bite (barely broke skin).  He also appreciated I went out of my way to make sure he was OK.

 

To be cautious and protect myself in these litigious times, I called USAA the next morning to explain the incident and ask about my coverage.  Understand I have two disabled children who are already challenging to care for.  I wanted peace of mind I would not lose everything should the Amazon guy try to sue us (though he seemed decent and Amazon was also walking him through what to do). The agent was very nice, and said should the person try to sue me, I was covered.  It has been close to a year and we never got papers filed against us, so USAA has never paid a claim - we never even got a hospital bill.  

 

Well, we just purchased a second home (after having sold our previous one) and called USAA about dropping the coverage on the old home and getting coverage on the new one.  We were told they will NOT sell me new coverage because of the incident with the dog bite.  They also basically implied I'm lucky I still have coverage on the current home, and determinations will be made at my renewal date (ie they plan to drop us).  When I asked is there anything we can do (not cover dog attacks on the new policy), I was told they won't give me ANY kind of coverage at all.  The person on the phone went so far as to imply we will NEVER get coverage again even if the dog in question was taken out of the house of passes away.

 

Again, I have two disabled children in my home, and the thought of getting rid of ANY of the dogs would be unimaginable.  These dogs are vital to my kids being able to function at all.  But USAA is telling me after 20+ years as a client, with multiple coverages and banking plans, to screw off.  Of course, they are MORE than happy to keep my auto insurance and credit cards, but not my homeowners insurance.  All because my  autistic, ADHD child who we just didn't get to in time one day and he opened the door carelessly.  AND THERE NEVER WAS A CLAIM FILED FOR THE BITE!   

 

In these times especially, when things are so difficult (my wife had to quit her job in order to deal with the remote learning challenges involves with two special needs kids), USAA is telling me they don't want to at least do something to allow me to keep some peace of mind regarding home insurance.  This is not the company I thought it was.  If anyone from USAA reads this (which I doubt), I wish you cared more about people who do the right thing.  I can't believe I would have been better off not saying anything and pray I was never sued - thus living in terror every day all because my home insurance would get cancelled just for mentioning it.  I cannot believe that's how you operate now. 

3 REPLIES

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@ThisPlaceDownhill- I'm sorry to hear that your dog bit the Amazon delivery driver. When we write a homeowners policy we do not have restrictions based on breed, but we do have underwriting restrictions if there is a pet that has bitten or attacked another person or animal. If a pet resides in the home that has bitten or attacked before we are unable to underwrite the risk. It does not matter whether a claim was filed, but whether a bite incident has ever happened at all. I would like to have the most recent interaction reviewed to see what we can do to improve the experience for our member, even if we are sharing unpleasant news.~Shawna

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Shawna,

 

What I don't undersand is why I am being denied ANY coverage - no fire, theft, loss insurance.  I understand the risk with the dog and while I don't agree I can at least deal with it.  But because my dog bit a stranger who never filed a claim, I get NO coverage for ANYTHING?

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@USAA - So the member is correct, right?   She should have never said anything at all, in other words - honesty does not pay.  I do understand the concerns about dog bites, but what I do not understand is there is ALWAYS a risk with any animal, just like there is ALWAYS a risk with getting in your car every morning to go to work.  There is always a risk with hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, etc.  That is what insurance is for, right?  Pretty soon, we will be paying USAA for insurance that basically provides no, if any, coverage at all.  Reading this site makes me upset and sad sometimes because members who have had a lot of faith in USAA to do the right thing have been so disappointed by USAA and it is discouraging.  I see a USAA who was amazing at one time and now you have nothing more to offer than any other run of the mill company.