The American Association of Insurance Services, a national insurance advisory organization that develops standardized forms and provides the rating information used by more than six hundred property & casualty insurers, has announced the filing of three separate endorsements which allow insurance companies to exclude umbrella and personal liability coverage for damage or injury from dogs.
Specifically, AAIS is filing endorsements under its homeowners insurance program that exclude coverage for medical payments and BI/PD (bodily injury and property damage) that comes from “…direct physical contact with a canine or canines identified in the endorsement.”
The named insured must sign the endorsement to acknowledge the exclusion for it to be in force.
According to the instruction manual provided with the endorsement paperwork, program users are advised to specify distinguishing characteristics in addition to a dog’s name in order to have a definitive identification of an animal, since policyholders can change their pets’ names if they so choose.
As well, AAIS is filing two exclusions for dogs under it’s PUP, or Personal Umbrella Program. One of them excludes all coverage for BI/PD from direct physical contact with any canine, and the other excludes coverage with an exception allowing it IF the BI/PD is covered by other insurance, or would have been covered except for limits being exhausted.
The PUP exclusion with the exception is meant to correspond with the above-mentioned homeowners canine exclusion. If the AAIS homeowners canine exclusion is part of underlying insurance, the insurance company may still write umbrella policies to respond to dogs other than those named in the homeowners endorsement schedule.
If all of this makes you think insurance has literally gone to the dogs, you may be right.