Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dog insurance : It won't work so we will make it law

If I was in a position to propose a law which required insurers to go along with the scheme in order for it to be effective, I might think about asking their Association 1st if it was practical. Their members having done this insurance thing for many years so might have some insight into
what would work and what will not work.

It seems Labour's plans/proposals to require owners to take out insurance missed that step. I quote from the BBC news page

But Nick Starling, of the Association of British Insurers, said: "While we understand the desire to reduce the number of attacks by dogs, making insurance compulsory for all dog owners is much more difficult than it looks.

"There is currently no stand-alone third-party insurance cover for the owners of dangerous dogs, and no desire by insurers to provide cover against this very high risk.

"Making it compulsory for pet owners would still not make it compulsory for insurers to offer the cover.

"While pet insurance policies will usually include third-party liability cover for dog owners, this would not cover dangerous dogs as defined under The Dangerous Dogs Act, and other specified breeds."

He added: "Even if third-party insurance was available, how would such a system be enforced, especially as many of the owners of dangerous dogs would be unlikely to take out insurance, even if it was compulsory.

"And would someone who was attacked by an uninsured dog be entitled to compensation, and if so from whom?"

The various opposition parties must be looking to the sky, thanking their god, thinking lets wait a few days for this to stir up and the owners of 7 million dogs in the UK ( Labour's vote in 2005 was only 2,000,000 more), most of which would be collateral damage of any proposed law, to start making a noise before the opposition parties make milage.

I have only been bitten once by a dog in the last 10 or so years. It was a farm sheep dog, had a bit of history and the owner being responsible had it put down within 24 hours. No doubt it would have been exempt from any proposed scheme, as would guide dogs, etc.

An owner of a (potentially) dangerous dog won't get insurance. It will just get added to the list of laws to ignore. Dogs, like people, can develop mental problems, usually through mistreatment, which can lead to attacks from previously well tempered dogs. Better to address the mistreatment, than force through a law which would not fix the underlying broken human behavior.

If changes in the law are needed, then target that law at those who break it. This insurance scheme joke would just be a transfer of wealth from individuals to corporations, nothing more than that.

I would have thought that the 257 quid I need to pay to Dyfed Powys police this year as part of the Council Tax is insurance enough.

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