>> Stay informed about: Apartments banning ferrets
When looking for an apartment in the western suburbs of Chocago two months ago, I
encountered THREE places that had changed their pet policy THAT MONTH to exclude ferrets
and snakes. The probability of that happening by coincence is near zero. I figured out the
common cause is insurance company policy.
One of them used the word exotic, which sounds like a quote from an insurance company
notice. I pointed out that exotic means foreign. Ferrets are native to the US, therefore
not exotic. The guy I was talking to didn't understand, said he was just following company
policy. He meant insurance company policy.
I've lived in 15 apartment complexes in the last 9 years, all over the eastern US. This
was my first experience with an insurance company prohibition on ferrets. Has anyone
encountered or heard of this?
My guess (I could be wrong) is that insurance companies are using Chicagoland as a test
market. If it doesn't provoke much objection here, they'll take it nationwide. I know
they're doing the same with smoking in Washington state. The additional premium for
permitting smoking is so high that no apartment complex can afford to pay it. If it flies
in Washington, insurance companies plan to take it nationwide.
There was no ferret ban in Champaign IL (100 miles south of Chicago) when I lived there 8
months ago, nor in Houston TX when I lived there 4 months ago.
Last night I went to several websites offering free quotes on homeowners or landlord
insurance. I wanted to see the questions they asked an applicant. One was 'Do you have a
dog?' Dog owners pay more, because insurance companies are afraid of liability claims for
bites. Cats and other animals don't cost extra, except the question asking whether you
keep wild animals as pets looks like an automatic rejection.
It appears that, in the corporate minds of some insurance companies, wild has been
replaced by exotic. In the unsophisticad corporate mind, exotic means anything other than
dogs, cats, mice, hampsters and whatever pets the CEO encountered when he was a kid.