When purchasing insurance for your home, homeowners and renters insurance companies alike will ask whether or not you have a pet.Your dog is just as much part of the family as anyone else, but some insurance carriers don’t want to take a chance with certain breeds.
You may want to give your insurer some alternative facts to get coverage, but this could be a huge mistake. You should answer honestly to ensure you have the proper liability limits and to ensure that you have coverage, period. For example, dog bites make up about one third of homeowners insurance claims and result in an average payout of $30,000 per claim. If you do not report that you have a dog, your claim could be denied and your entire policy could be voided. This could have big implications for other damages your home could encouter during the policy term.
So honesty is the best policy for your policy - but will your insurer cover your dog? The typical standards by which an insurance company may deny coverage for a dog is based on the size of dog and typical inflicted damage, the frequency for which a breed bites, and the breed’s reputation per research by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
1) Pit Bulls – The Pit Bull is at the top of the CDC’s list of dangerous breeds, accounting for the most dog-bite related deaths. Certain states have requirements for keeping dogs after they’ve been labeled dangerous.
2) Rottweiler – This breed is second on the CDC’s list for bite-related fatalities. Similarly to the Pit Bull, Rottweilers are also known for their aggressive and potentially dangerous behavior.
3) German Shepard – Dogs of this breed are known to become territorial and over protective, resulting in aggressive behavior that has landed them on the CDC’s list.
4) Husky-type – If not trained properly, this breed can become aggressive. The number of dog-bite related accidents in recent years has landed it as the fourth most dangerous dog on the CDC’s list.
5) Doberman – These dogs are known to be both intimidating and aggressive, especially around unfamiliar people.
6) Chow Chow – Without proper training and socialization of this breed, these dogs are fiercely protective over their people and property and can become aggressive around unfamiliar people.
7) Malamute – Despite its similarities to a wolf, this breed is not a wolf mix. However, it is responsible for numerous dog-bite related fatalities over the years.
8) Wolf Hybrids– This breed is a combination of a dog and wolf, so without the proper owner and training, Wolf-hybrids can become wild and aggressive. It needs to be taught boundaries and cannot be confined in a small space. Because of its breed with a “wild animal” many insurance companies do not want to take a risk with this animal.
9) Akita – These dogs were typically bred as guard dogs which results in a protective nature. The breed’s history mentions that its ancestors used to be known as bear hunting dogs.
10) Great Danes – Great Danes are the tallest dogs alive, so it doesn’t come as a big surprise that these dogs have been known for bite-related fatalities in the past.
If your family dog is one of the breeds above, you may want to consult your agent when looking for homeowners insurance to find a carrier that will insure your pet. You can also research companies who are risky-dog friendly. This doesn’t mean that no one will insure your furry family member, but be sure to talk to your insurance provider before bringing one home.
- Property and Casualty 360 article on dangerous dog breeds
- Dogs that may drive up your premiums
- 11 Dogs That May Increase Your Home Insurance Premiums