For most pet owners, canines and felines are considered members of the family unit. When applying for insurance, it is not uncommon to want to include the pets. Such is the case with Efthimiadis and her husband. They were approved for a Nationwide insurance policy, listing their dogs on the application, only to be canceled at a later date.

Applying for homeowners insurance at Nationwide

Efthimiadis filled out the required insurance application when she and her husband were interested in a personal umbrella liability policy added to their homeowner's insurance with the Nationwide Insurance Company.

Part of the insurance application required a listing of any pets living in the home, which the couple did. They did state that they had a hound dog, a Lab/hound mix, and a Yorkie/Shih Tzu. They followed all protocol and was assured that their policy would go into effect.

Facebook photo caused cancel of policy

Efthimiadis of Timberlake, North Carolina is a practicing veterinarian who has pictures of her three dogs on her Facebook page. Nationwide insurance people claim that they went on the woman’s Facebook page and saw the pictures of her dogs, noting that one was a Rottweiler named Zeus. Apparently, the company will not insure people who own certain breeds of dogs such as the Rottweiler. As a result, they canceled Efthimiadis’ policy after viewing the photo.

She knows what type of dogs she has since she is a practicing veterinarian. They were told that they did not disclose that they have a dangerous dog at their residence. The insured couple feels it unfair to identify a dog based on a photo seen on a person’s personal site. Zeus is clearly a hound/Lab mix and not a Rottweiler.

Now, the insurance company is requiring a veterinarian’s note to state the dog is what the couple claims on their application. Efthimiadis is a vet.

Efthimiadis is horrified that her private Facebook pages can be used against her in this matter. She is sending a warning to others to be careful what you post on Facebook even though she was not wrong in this case.

It is sad that certain dog breeds are discriminated against, to begin with when it comes to insuring the home and family. However, a representative for the insurance company made this statement to, “Nationwide’s policy is to contact the member and agent to gather more information if there is uncertainty about a dog breed selection on an insurance application. Unfortunately, that policy was not followed in this instance. We have taken steps to rectify the situation to ensure a better experience for future Nationwide applicants.”