A Little Lady Changes Everything

November 2, 2011  

A new lady in their life prompts this couple to go the extra mile when shopping for homeowner’s insurance


By Stacy Cortez

At the time I found Lady, I really had no interest in getting a dog, especially a pit bull. My boyfriend and I weren’t really fond of the breed due to my past experience with a pit bull.

I was visiting my sister in Dallas, Texas. We arrived at her house to help her bathe three puppies that she was trying to find homes for. She called out to her dogs, and here came this little bundle of joy vigorously wagging her tail. I picked her up and handed her to my boyfriend. It was love at first sight.

We named her Lady and she is my best friend; she’s family. I cannot begin to describe how amazing she is. She is always there to cheer me up when I’m down. She is welcoming to strangers and other dogs. She is an accelerated learner and is always eager to please.

I never really knew the hardships and discrimination that pit bull type dogs go through on a daily basis until my boyfriend and I finally decided to buy our first home. We had to make sure our home had a perfect backyard for our little Lady. After a long time of searching, we finally found the ideal house.

Our bank let us know that in order to finalize the loan agreement, we had to get homeowners insurance. We had already decided that we wanted to insure with Farm Bureau, but when we went to get a quote one of their questions was, “Do you have a dog?”

I honestly didn’t think anything of it, so I said, “Yes, I have a pit bull.”

He informed me he couldn’t insure the house because Lady was on the restricted breed list. I really didn’t understand what he meant by a restricted breed. He explained and told me that they didn’t allow certain breeds because they were a liability. Immediately I burst into tears and walked away. I couldn’t fathom how people could just discriminate against a dog by its breed. They just assumed that she was a dangerous dog because she was a pit bull. They didn’t even give her a chance.

I couldn’t picture my life without Lady. She had become part of the family. Everyone tried to convince me to give her away, but I had decided to give up my dream home for Lady. I really didn’t give the subject much thought. Since I was a first-time homebuyer, I really didn’t know that I had other options.

I started doing some research online and found out that some companies had no breed restrictions. I grabbed the yellow pages and started calling all of them. I was let down a lot, but still wasn’t ready to give up. I came across State Farm and called them, and they informed me that they had no breed restrictions. I was really excited and relieved, but when they called me back to give me a quote, I found out that it would be way out of our budget. I was really disappointed, but I kept calling other places until I finally found Farmers Alliance. We were ecstatic! I am really grateful to the few insurance companies that aren’t discriminating dogs by their breed.

My little Lady is now happy with her new back yard. Since then we have adopted her a little brother, Chance. She is learning new tricks everyday. I’m really thankful to StubbyDog for devoting the time to help change people’s perception of pit bulls. I used to be skeptical about pit bull type dogs, but Lady made me see things a different way.

Editor’s note to those shopping for insurance:
If you are looking for home or renter’s insurance, please note that the following national companies do not discriminate based on breed:

State Farm
Farmers Insurance Group
United Services Automobile (USAA) Association
Chubb Group

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Comments

34 Responses to “A Little Lady Changes Everything”
  1. This is funny because I just did a blog about this two weeks ago. I too change homeowners insurance for a different reason however, in conducting market research the same thing happened many companies did NOT ask the question but becauser I was doing a blog I informed them that I have two pit bulls. State Farm along with a couple of other insurance companies offered FULLY cover my family & our home. Here’s the blog feel free to comment and join in!. Another insurance company that has a “list” is Grange Insurance.

    http://theprettychicwiththepits.blogspot.com/2011/10/got-homeownersrenters-insurance-if-you.html

    • ValerieSherman says:

      @theprettychic I say get this info out there..I’ll go and “like” your blog on FB…there are other advocacy groups who update this info…I know people who would rather not insure pets as part of their policy….so they omit…rather than disclose. …and it’s because of the discriminatory lists. But the more WE as the consumers voice this, and decline subscription to their service because of it, the more likely they are to review their policies.

  2. Lady looks exactly like my Krusher

  3. skreidle says:

    We have Farmers; they’ve been fantastic. Even if you come across an individual Farmers agent who takes issue with your breed, you can simply call the national hotline and ask for a different agent. (Fortunately, the two agents we’ve had have been great.)

    That said, we’re currently assisting one of the homes with whom we placed an older AmStaff, Ziggy — faxing over documentation that (accurately) represents him as an American Staffordshire Terrier (which would be allowed by their HOA, or whomever’s taking issue with Ziggy’s breed) and not an APBT or “pit bull”.) It’s utterly ridiculous… but if they lose this fight, they’re more than willing to move, and that’s one of many reasons why they’re an awesome forever home. :D

    • @skreidle

      I’m a little taken back by your coment regarding APBT. I have two American Pit Bull Terriers. It’s sad that this bully breed receives such a negative rap for what “people” have done to them.

      • skreidle says:

        @theprettychic Oh, no, no–don’t misunderstand me. I know full well that every bully breed dog, be they an APBT, AST, SBT, BT, or a mix including any of the above, is almost certainly a fantastic dog that deserves love, admiration, adoration, and absolutely none of the hate and vitriol heaped on them by ignorant laymen and the subhuman monsters who do such unbelievable things to them.

        All I meant was that “If their HOA has a ban on ‘pit bulls’ but not on ‘AmStaffs’, then by all means, we’ll supply paperwork supporting his being an AmStaff, even though it’s ridiculous and shouldn’t matter.” :)

      • skreidle says:

        @theprettychic

        Oh, no, no–don’t misunderstand me. I know full well that every bully breed dog, be they an APBT, AST, SBT, BT, or a mix including any of the above, is almost certainly a fantastic dog that deserves love, admiration, adoration, and absolutely none of the hate and vitriol heaped on them by ignorant laymen, or abuse by the subhuman monsters who do such unbelievable things to them.

        All I meant was that “If their HOA has a ban on ‘pit bulls’ but not on ‘AmStaffs’, then by all means, we’ll supply paperwork supporting his being an AmStaff, even though it’s ridiculous and shouldn’t matter.” :)

  4. AmandaFitzgerald says:

    Have been a state farm customer forever!love that they don’t care which dog I have.

  5. NuriaRodriguez says:

    Great story and thank you for the list at the bottom, however short it is.

  6. blazer says:

    How ironic that this has been something on my mind. We purchased our first home (3 years ago) and the day we closed, we went and adopted our first bully. My husband told our Amer. Family agent that we wanted to get one and he said that we shouldn’t tell him if we do b/c they don’t cover them. Agent said as long as nothing comes up, we’d be okay–we’d only run into trouble if an assessor came by or we had an incident and then they could choose to not renew our policy. We recently got a note of an assessor coming out “sometime within the next 40 days” to take pictures of the property and interview the homeowner. I got nervous – what happens if we are at work and my pit bull greets them at the clear glass front door when they ring!? Luckily enough, the day they did come by, I had dropped our boy off at my parent’s house for some grand-daddy daycare. But it got me thinking, why do I support an organization that descriminates against the love of my life? I shouldn’t have to be nervous of owning my dog! I don’t want to tip-toe around. I am seriously looking into switching now. We went to a pit bull awareness event some time ago and a State Farm rep was there explaining that they do not descriminate between breeds. I’m happy to see this list of other options we may have. Thank you!

    • StubbyDog says:

      @blazer thank you for sharing this honest look at being a pit bull guardian and homeowner’s insurance.

  7. Adrienne Clegg says:

    Thank you! for sharing your story with all of us and for sharing your life with what without a doubt are the best dogs on earth…She is an exceptional beauty..

  8. ValerieSherman says:

    As a renter, the insurance issue has reared it’s ugly head a few times. My vet doesn’t consider “pit bull” a “breed”, he says it’s a slang of several types of terriers..so, he puts terrier on her paperwork…it makes things do-able and he’s not lying. I think he also realizes that the description of a dog on licensing paperwork can make or break a potential suitable living situation for a family with these breeds.

    I also find it interesting that chihuahua’s aren’t on the restricted/liable list. They are far more likely to bite a stranger than a large dog..even though I love several chi’s..they are not always the most stable dogs..ha ha. Kudo’s to your family for sticking by Lady..and congrats on the outcome.

    • skreidle says:

      @ValerieSherman – It’s true that “pit bull” isn’t a breed, and that it’s a collection of several other breeds and mixes, including American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and Bull Terrier.It’s also just as unfair to characterize all chihuahuas as unstable and likely to bite, as it is to characterize “pit bulls” the same way, you know?

      • ValerieSherman says:

        @skreidle You’re correct. It is unfair, but in the interest of avoiding an argument on someone else’s post..I didn’t say ALL. I said it’s interesting they are not part of the liable list…think about it, many many people with small dogs, just don’t train them. They can pick them up..so they don’t expect anything from the dog itself….this makes any dog much more dangerous and much more of a liability and much more unstable. I love many types of dogs…as part of my extended family, I know them well. I got my own daughter a chi mix..but she trains her pup. My other daughter has poms…the bitch is aggressive at times..she knows a few tricks, but is not what I consider trained. My sister inherited a very sheltered cocker..she was terrified and untrained..her owner died. She has adjusted to the house full of dogs..but has now started to show territorial aggression…sister hasn’t really trained her..she expects more out of her pitbulls obedience wise, than she does from her small dogs..and she should know better..that cocker is going to bite someone. .or one of the dogs..mark my words.

        • skreidle says:

          @ValerieSherman – Indeed, not looking for an argument, just pointing out that we need to be fair to all breeds if we expect other people to be fair to ours. :)You make excellent and valid points about how smaller dogs tend to be handled and trained (or not trained, as the case all too often is) — so it boils down to training and socialization, just like our beloved bully breeds. :)

        • ValerieSherman says:

          @skreidle Now THAT is something the insurance companies should look at….

  9. I’m confused! We have Farm Bureau and they know we have 3 pitties in our house. ?? We live in Nashville, TN so maybe it’s a state thing.

    Bravo to you for not giving up! My furkids are my babies and there is no way I would give them up for anything. Unfortunately, not all people feel that way and it’s so nice to hear a story like yours!

    God bless you xoxoxoxo

  10. ShanaKlein says:

    We run a rescue in Ohio and 10 years ago, we couldn’t find any insurance company allowing pit bulls under their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance so we had to purchase a “vicious dog policy” which was very expensive. In the past few years, Farmer’s Insurance stopped discriminating and we switched our coverage immediately. We are very happy with Farmer’s Insurance. We left AMICA and when they asked us to return, we told them if they change their discriminatory policy against pit bulls (and many other breeds), we’d return. They were speechless. Now, we ask everyone with whom we speak to please switch their insurance coverage to a company that does not discriminate because this will force the companies that discriminate to reconsider their policy.

    In Ohio, State Farm and All State discriminate against pit bulls. USAA does not but they do not offer coverage to everyone. I know there are also other companies that do not discriminate but do not know them off hand.

    • StubbyDog says:

      @ShanaKlein perhaps some insurance companies in different states enforce different policies. Thanks for sharing.

  11. JenFortin says:

    I live in Mass and own 3 pit bull type dogs. I have always been insured with Met Life. Several years ago my oldest boy Budda got out and scared the dog down the street, there were no injuries. They took Budda from me, but I was able to get him back after a hearing, and we put up a huge fence, lesson well learned. Anyway I had to inform met life about liability insurance, and my agent said we were already covered for up to 100,000 dollars. I was sure we would be dropped by Met life, but we are still happy customers. All my pitties are healthy and happy.

  12. ValerieSherman says:

    I am so glad this topic came up again. I had AAA several years ago and of course they offered me renter’s insurance..but when I told them about Lacy, they did have a breed discrimination list and she was on it. I’m glad to see that has changed…so that list may keep changing..will stubbydog update this info?? Some people don’t know they have a choice.

  13. Jason Martian says:

    I currently have Amica Insurance… which is one of the top rated insurance providers… they do have a breed discrimination list but when we told them that we were working on getting our dog Dumpling her American Kennel Club – Canine Good Citizen Certification they allowed us at no rate hike. The only problem is we are approaching our deadline for providing this to them and we have yet to achieve this goal. I worry that we may loose the insurer of our choice.

    • ValerieSherman says:

      @Jason Martian see this effort in itself should be the schedule used to decide whether to insure a home with a dog…not the breed.

  14. arika.brown says:

    That is great to know! I will be calling FB today and possibly dropping dropping them! I can tell you right now the dangerous breed in my house in my moody chihuahua:)

  15. VirginiaToledo says:

    I loved your story, and I respect you more for not giving up on your Pittie…..I too love my Pittie so much that I feel sometimes that I gave birth to him…..Congrats on the new home, and for rescuing a Pit Bull………..

  16. ChristinaMays says:

    I loved your story! I have my fur-kids and I would rather live in my car than give them up so it is wonderful to hear other people feel the same way. My pibbles are my babies (and take merciless advantage of that fact). They sleep on my bed, (under the covers of course) push me out of my chair, leave hair everywhere, routinely slobber on my face, eat me out of house and home, and not only love me like nobody else ever could but they make my life complete! Thank God for pitties!