Dog Breeds That Raise Your Insurance Costs

Dogs are the most popular pet in the US according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), almost 90 million dogs reside in American homes. Although dogs are man’s best friend, the old saying does not apply to homeowners insurance.

Dogs bite approximately 4.5 million people across the country annually, with many dog ​​bite victims between the ages of 5 and 9. If someone is injured by a dog bite and the injured party does not live in the home, a homeowners insurance claim can usually be filed under the dog owner’s policy. In severe cases, the insurance company could pay up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Because of this, homeowners insurance companies implement restrictions based on certain breeds of dogs, to help reduce the risk of paying a claim.

If your pet is on your insurer’s list of aggressive dog breeds and bites someone, your policy likely won’t cover it and you could lose your insurance coverage entirely. It’s important to know which dog breeds homeowners insurance companies won’t cover while you’re shopping for insurance or considering adding a furry friend to your family, so there aren’t any nasty and expensive surprises later.

Top dog breeds that insurers won’t cover

Dogs that are typically listed as aggressive breeds or restricted breeds with insurance companies may be prone to further injury if bitten. They could also cause more injuries simply because they are a larger breed. Due to the increased risk, some insurance companies attempt to manage this risk by implementing a restricted breed list. Other home insurers may only ask about your pet’s bite history, and aren’t as particular about the breed itself.

The list of dogs for homeowners insurance generally varies by company. However, the following dog breeds are most commonly restricted:

  • akita
  • american staffordshire terrier
  • chow chow
  • doberman pinscher
  • German shepherd dog
  • great dane
  • Mastiff
  • pitbull
  • Canary Dam
  • rottweiler
  • Siberian Husky
  • wolf hybrid

If you have a dog that is not on the restricted dog breed list, you may still have trouble getting insurance coverage if your dog has bitten someone in the past.

What if your insurer doesn’t cover your dog?

If your current insurer would exclude your dog from homeowners insurance coverage or not insure you at all because of your pet, there may be alternatives to help you find homeowners coverage:

  • If your dog is a service dog, you may receive an exception from your insurer to cover your pet.
  • Train your dog for American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Good Citizen certification to apply for an exception.
  • find an insurer that does not restrict the breed of your dog.
  • Ask your insurer to exclude your dog from the policy instead of canceling your insurance and find pet insurance that specializes in canine liability policies.

Insurance companies that do not discriminate based on race

Pennsylvania it is the only state that prohibits insurers from discriminating against dog breeds. If you live in any other state and are interested in dog-friendly homeowners insurance coverage, consider the following companies:

These carriers have been known to write homeowners insurance policies that typically do not exclude certain breeds of dogs from coverage. That means you can have your home insured without worry if you have a dog that belongs to a breed that other insurers would deny coverage for. However, if your dog has a history of biting, these companies may still deny coverage due to the pet’s known history.

How does your dog affect your insurance rate?

Having a breed of dog on the restricted list can increase your insurance premiums. Dog bites often come with high medical bills and court settlement costs. The triple-i reporting that the average cost an insurance company had to pay for dog bite claims in 2020 was $50,425. Since many insurers believe that restricted breeds are more likely to injure someone, they may cover their risk by charging higher premiums.

Frequent questions

What happens if I don’t tell my homeowners insurance company about my dog?

Not telling your insurer about your dog or omitting the dog’s breed could land you in trouble. If you file a claim for a dog injury that is not listed on your insurance policy, the company may deny the claim, leaving you financially responsible for all medical bills and court costs. Considering the average claim paid in 2020 for a dog bite is nearly $50,000, it’s best to be upfront with your dog or find an insurer willing to accept your restricted pet.

If my dog ​​is mixed with the breed of dog that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover, can I get insurance?

If you have a mixed breed that may include a dog on the restricted dog list, your pet may not yet be covered by your insurer. In fact, your dog may not be insurable if he has bitten someone in the past, even if he is a Poodle or Labrador. It’s better to be honest about your pet’s history and breed ahead of time than to find out you’re not covered after filing a dog bite claim.

Can an insurer cancel my homeowners insurance if I get a restricted breed?

Insurance companies are not required to cover everyone. Your homeowners insurance policy could be canceled if you have a restricted breed on the homeowners insurance dog list or if you lie about the type of dog you have or its bite history. If you receive a notice from your insurer that your policy will be cancelled, you can request an exception by showing that your pet is a guide dog or is a certified Canine Good Citizen. If not, you’ll need to find new coverage with another company.

Does homeowners insurance cover dog bites?

Insurance policies may cover dog bites up to your policy’s liability limits, as long as the dog has no history of biting others, is not excluded from your coverage, and injures someone who does not live in your household. It’s a good idea to check with your agent or homeowner’s insurer to see if their company has a list of aggressive dog breeds. If your dog’s breed is on the list, you can discuss your options with your agent and then make an informed decision that benefits you and your household, including your canine companion.

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