On 10/25/12, I shared the story of American Family Insurance cancelling the homeowner’s policy of  Douglas County Deputy Woodward because of his K-9, which he is required to take home with him when he is off duty.  American Family has come under fire since this story grabbed the attention of the nation’s largest law enforcement union.  They’ve since offered an apology and called the cancellation  “an unfortunate misunderstanding”, as well, they are looking at their guidelines regarding covering homes with police dogs.

Initially the insurance company placed the blame on Deputy Woodward saying they “expected the deputy to provide confirmation that Douglas County held liability insurance on the dog.”  They changed their tune the following day.

“The miscommunication was on our part,” Witmer said. “This is something that should have been a relatively easy process, and it turned into a hardship for Mr. Woodward. For that, we truly do apologize.”

Deputy Woodward hasn’t heard from the company and has already obtained homeowner’s insurance elsewhere.

“My only reaction is that I don’t want this to happen to another law enforcement officer,” he said. “It was gut-wrenching … I have two boys and a wife who come first, and to have that happen and the possibility of not having insurance to cover my family was just one of the most stressful things I’ve gone through in a long time.”

And Jim Pasco, executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, isn’t feeling too forgiving either.

“They acted in self interest in terminating the deputy’s insurance, and they’ve clearly acted in enlightened self-interest in changing their policy,” Pasco said. “That being said, we’re happy that American Family has joined the entire insuring universe in recognizing that police dogs enhance safety rather than adversely affecting it.”

Well, this is a good step for K-9s but still, due to bans that exclude such breeds as Akitas, American pit bull terriers, chows, Rottweilers and wolf hybrids and other, there are still many out in the cold when is comes to coverage.  And American Family is by far, not the only company denying coverage based on dog breeds.

These discriminatory practices must end!

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