Home insurance co. drops deputy because of K-9 - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Home insurance co. drops deputy because of K-9

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A deputy was warned that his homeowner's insurance will be dropped because of the liability of his K-9 partner.

It could happen to a number of dog owners. Insurance companies have a list of dangerous dogs they won't cover. Almost all of the breeds are employed by police departments and are cared for at their handlers' homes.

APD Officer Clint Hamilton's partner is a 3-year-old Labrador.

He was named Raggio in honor of World Trade Center employee, Eugene Raggio, who lost his life on 9/11.

"I have a special affinity for him just because as I get to tell his stories to children at schools, daycares… I'm able to honor the gentleman from 9/11," said Hamilton.

He was born at Lackland Air Force Base, meant to work for TSA but was released because he was deemed too hyper.

"So good for us. Good for APD," said Hamilton.

His specially is sniffing out drugs. When he's not at work, he's at home with Hamilton's family.

"He's the typical house dog. He's excitable, happy," said Hamilton.

Hamilton's dog is not bite-trained, but the department has nine dogs that are. The animals include German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, Labradors, Retrievers and Vizslas. German Shepherds are one of many dog breeds on some insurance companies prohibited dog lists.

Douglas County, Nebraska Deputy Andy Woodward thought his K-9 "Diezel" a Malinois was okay until earlier this month. He says the American Family Insurance Company sent him a letter stating his policy would end December 19, because the trained attack K-9 was considered a liability.

Here in Austin, Farmers Insurance Agent Kenneth Hausmann covers a local K-9 officer but understands why some companies would shy away.

"Insurance companies are very conservative. Cause their check won't bounce. If you pay out a few of claims like that it can be very expensive. A dog like that has the ability to do a lot of damage," said Hausmann.

American Family Insurance called it a misunderstanding and released a statement Wednesday that it will renew coverage for Woodward. But Woodward says it's too late.

If you are considering purchasing a home, you may have trouble if you have any of the bigger breeds including Pitt bulls, Rottweilers and Dobermans. Some companies like Farmers will only not insure if there is a history of biting.

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