While there are many factors that go into determining your homeowners insurance rates, one that may not be on your radar is the breed of your dog. Unfortunately, some home insurance carriers consider certain dog breeds to be more of a risk to insure. Here’s what to know about dog breeds and home insurance rates.
List of Dog Breeds that Can Increase Your Home Insurance Premium
Some insurance carriers have a restricted breed list, which typically includes dog breeds that are more likely to cause a serious injury in the event of a bite This could be due to higher incidences of aggression in certain breeds or simply because of a breed’s strength and size.
The dog breeds that most often cause an increase in your home insurance premium include:
- Alaskan Malamute
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Chow Chow
- Cane Corso
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
- Great Dane
- Presa Canarios
- Siberian Husky
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Wolf Hybrid
Why do home insurance companies care about the breed of dog you have?
Insurance carriers are concerned about dogs that are known to bite or cause liabilities, but are also concerned about the potential to cause damage to your or someone else’s home. Carriers want to avoid paying out claims for dog bites.
For example, if your dog were to injure someone on your property, your home insurance carrier would be responsible for any claim filed to cover the legal and/or medical costs. These expenses could be significant for your insurance carrier. Restricting certain breeds helps your carrier reduce the likelihood of a payout.
Do renters insurance companies have breed restrictions?
Renters insurance is a type of insurance that helps protect renters and their belongings. There are three coverage types for renters insurance: personal property, liability and additional living expenses. Renters insurance policies will have similar restrictions to home insurance policies. Additional liability coverage for renters insurance policies is often offered for those who own a commonly restricted breed.
What if you don’t tell your homeowners insurance company about your dog?
Home insurance will provide coverage for claims for damage as a result of your negligence, including property damage and dog bites. If you don’t tell your homeowners insurance company about your dog, you will likely have to pay out-of-pocket if your dog causes harm to your property or bites someone.
Do I have to add my dog to my homeowners insurance policy?
Even if you’re worried about a higher premium, it’s wise to speak to your insurance agent about the impact of adding your dog to your homeowners insurance policy. If for some reason your dog injured someone on your property or damaged yours or someone else’s property, your insurance carrier would be contacted to cover medical bills or any civil suits. If your dog isn’t included in your homeowners insurance policy, you may not be covered for those expenses.
Home Insurance Companies That Don’t Discriminate Against Dog Breeds
While it may be a little more difficult to find affordable home insurance coverage, it isn’t impossible. Insurance carriers such as Nationwide and Liberty Mutual are most likely to work with you and your pet on a case by case basis, calculating your insurance rates based on your actual dog and not just the breed.
What Happens When You Have a Restricted Dog Breed
Owning a dog that is on the restricted dog breed list most often results in an increase in premiums. While you may be able to get regular home insurance coverage, there may be exclusions, such as excluding liability coverage from your policy. This would mean that if your dog is responsible for an injury to someone or tears up another person’s home, you would have to pay out-of-pocket. The worst case scenario if you have a restricted dog breed is that you’re denied coverage all together.
What To Do if You Are Denied Home Insurance Coverage
If you’re denied coverage because of your dog’s breed, there are still ways to get coverage. Some insurers are more restrictive than others so it’s important to shop around. You can also purchase additional liability coverage to protect you from the liabilities you may face as a dog owner.
SelectQuote Can Help Dog Owners Find Affordable Home Insurance
Finding home insurance at a price that fits your budget is easier than ever with SelectQuote. We’ll learn more about your home and your situation, and can find you a home insurance policy that is right for you and your family.