PDA

View Full Version : Insurance company "totals" a dog...



Pages : [1] 2

barbk
08-16-2011, 10:31 PM
I can't believe they're standing behind this...

A woman whose dog was hit by a car has been told by the car's insurer that after two vet visits that the dog would be "totaled." Something very, very wrong with that concept, imo, but a Farmers VP seems to indicate that it is true.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/insurance-company-tells-colorado-woman-it-may-total-out-her-dog-hit-by-minivan/2011/08/16/gIQAW9SKJJ_story.html

BigB08822
08-16-2011, 10:40 PM
This is a living being, not a car! How is that possible? Why use such terminology? If they have a max payout for the animal then just say so, but don't tell her it has been "totaled." That is just mean.

Japanfan
08-16-2011, 11:42 PM
a spokesman for Farmers said the phrase “totaling out” is industry jargon and refers to the property damage part of a policy.

I don't have an issue with 'totaling out' but the 'property damage' should really be amended.

agalisgv
08-16-2011, 11:43 PM
In the US, dogs and other pets are legally classified as property.

barbk
08-17-2011, 12:40 AM
They may be property, but I'm not sure how one figures the "salvage value" of a dog -- but whatever the dog is worth, I'm pretty sure it is more (a lot more) than two visits to the vet. These days, when people regularly give their dogs many thousands of dollars in medical care, an insurance company deciding that a dog is only worth two visits seems far out-of-line to me, and I'm not even a dog owner (or, in my jurisdiction, a "pet guardian.")

agalisgv
08-17-2011, 12:50 AM
Sad to say, just about everyone and everything has an actuarial value. The value of a dog is typically the price paid for it or the replacement cost. (IIRC, humans are estimated to be worth about $25,000).

A pure breed will be worth more than a mutt. If two vet visits equal a few hundred dollars each time, that would equal the value of most dogs from a legal standpoint.

danceronice
08-17-2011, 02:29 AM
Two vet visits equaling a 'few hundred'? For a car strike? LOL, agalisgv, maybe $2000 most places, and that's cheap if it was a major injury. I'm lucky if I get out of a regular visit for shots for under $200. It was just under $600 for the cat with a urinary blockage, plus the office visit the day before and the medications. Major surgery and lots of follow-ups could easily top $3000. To be honest at that point, I'd probably have them euthanize.

And it's just a car policy--the damage limit is what it is. Would it be better if they said "maxed out" instead of "totaled out"? If she wanted her dog covered by insurance she should have gotten pet major medical from the companies that sell that. Otherwise, the vet bill's her problem. If she wants she can sue the driver personally, but if she took their insurance payout that's probably not going to pan out.

Japanfan
08-17-2011, 02:36 AM
In the US, dogs and other pets are legally classified as property.

This doesn't mean that the term is appropriate. To someone who has lost a beloved pet or almost lost a beloved pet, the term is hurtful. Even more so if they have a huge vet bill and injured animal to care for, with the insurance covering little of the cost.

Are people referred to property as well? Probably not, because people are not things. Animals and pets aren't things, either.

danceronice
08-17-2011, 03:16 PM
Are people referred to property as well? Probably not, because people are not things. Animals and pets aren't things, either.

Only because of the 13th Amendment. Animals are personal property. In some cases, they're livestock, which is slightly different (especially those intended for the food chain) but they're not real property, they're not thinking, self-sufficient human beings, therefore they're personal property. If they weren't, you couldn't have your dog put down when it's sick or ever sell one. They're just personal property that happens to breathe.

Not to mention if this is the auto insurance paying, again, there's nothing else they can do. Their limits are what they are. An animal isn't a person so it can't go under the bodily-injury limits. So it would fall under property destruction/damage. She's reached the total amount they agreed to pay. And since she apparently agreed to the payout that more or less torpedoes any chance of sueing for more.

barbk
08-17-2011, 06:44 PM
I think it is out of the liability limits -- typically $100,000 minimum of coverage in most states. That's the same coverage that would pay to replace a wall if I drove into someone's house, or pay the medical expenses of someone I injured (not me, and not people in the car with me.)

One of my neighbors got a settlement of $14K for a large Colorado spruce tree that a drunk driver struck and destroyed. I'm not convinced that a family pet should be considered to be of less value than a tree.

DarrellH
08-17-2011, 08:21 PM
Two vet visits equaling a 'few hundred'? For a car strike? LOL, agalisgv, maybe $2000 most places, and that's cheap if it was a major injury. I'm lucky if I get out of a regular visit for shots for under $200. It was just under $600 for the cat with a urinary blockage, plus the office visit the day before and the medications. Major surgery and lots of follow-ups could easily top $3000. To be honest at that point, I'd probably have them euthanize.


And it's just a car policy--the damage limit is what it is. Would it be better if they said "maxed out" instead of "totaled out"? If she wanted her dog covered by insurance she should have gotten pet major medical from the companies that sell that. Otherwise, the vet bill's her problem. If she wants she can sue the driver personally, but if she took their insurance payout that's probably not going to pan out.


That option is why they are considered property. You don't pull the plug on grandma, just because it's cheaper than paying for an operation. it's not right, but it's the way it is happening.

Skittl1321
08-17-2011, 08:24 PM
(IIRC, humans are estimated to be worth about $25,000).



Really? How exactly does one replace a human? (Since this is replacement value...) Can I buy a new one?

DarrellH
08-17-2011, 08:29 PM
Really? How exactly does one replace a human? (Since this is replacement value...) Can I buy a new one?


One insurance company is advertising that you can get a model, one year newer!:D

Japanfan
08-17-2011, 11:28 PM
In some cases, they're livestock, which is slightly different (especially those intended for the food chain) but they're not real property, they're not thinking, self-sufficient human beings, therefore they're personal property. If they weren't, you couldn't have your dog put down when it's sick or ever sell one. They're just personal property that happens to breathe.


Nice. I can see you're a real animal lover, danceronice.

FYI, animals do think. And all domesticated animals have been bred from self-sufficient species.


You don't pull the plug on grandma, just because it's cheaper than paying for an operation.


Actually, people sometimes do pull the plug on other people.

Civic
08-18-2011, 08:46 AM
I can't believe they're standing behind this...

A woman whose dog was hit by a car has been told by the car's insurer that after two vet visits that the dog would be "totaled." Something very, very wrong with that concept, imo, but a Farmers VP seems to indicate that it is true.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/insurance-company-tells-colorado-woman-it-may-total-out-her-dog-hit-by-minivan/2011/08/16/gIQAW9SKJJ_story.html

How odd.