The insurance company claimed a veterinarian had a dangerous dog breed at home, which she did not disclose
A scary reminder that almost anyone can see what you are doing online, Melina Efthimiadis of Timberlake, North Carolina, lost coverage after her former insurance company found a photo of her dogs on Facebook.
According to ABC11.com, the drama started when Efthimiadis and her husband applied for personal umbrella liability insurance to be added to their Nationwide homeowners policy. As part of the application, the couple had to list the number of dogs they owned and their breeds. Efthimiadis truthfully listed she and her husband are pet parents to three canines: a Shih Tzu/Yorkie mix, a hound and hound/Lab mix. Efthimiadis should know, she is a practicing veterinarian.
When the couple received Nationwide’s response, they were shocked to find they were rejected for the extra insurance and their policy was being cancelled as well.
“We were being cancelled because we had an ineligible dog breed that we failed to disclose,” Efthimiadis told ABC11.com
The company claimed the couple had a Rottweiler mix, a dog breed Nationwide considers dangerous, making them ineligible for the insurance. The most upsetting part for the family was how the company came to this conclusion.
“They sent us the pictures that they had taken off of my Facebook page of my dog Zeus who is a lab/hound mix. In the picture, the dogs are running through the snow with their blankets on. It just didn’t seem that threatening to me,” she said.
Efthimiadis followed up with Nationwide to let the company know they were wrong about Zeus’ breed and that it is unfair and wrong to identify a dog based on a photo pulled from her personal social media account.
Instead of standing down, Nationwide said they would need a written letter from a veterinarian confirming Zeus’ breed. As a veterinarian, this was not a problem for Efthimiadis.
After receiving the new information, Nationwide rescinded their cancellation. Zeus’ parents did not accept the offer, choosing to take their business to a different insurance company.
“Be careful about what you post on Facebook. It’s sad that you can’t post pictures of your beloved pet on your own Facebook page and have it public but unfortunately I had to go and change some of my pictures just to feel more comfortable about it,” Efthimiadis said about what she learned from this situation.
In regards to the incident, a representative from Nationwide offered this statement: “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.”