Are you a dog owner who owns a home? If so, there’s a chance your homeowner’s insurance offers coverage regarding your pet. However, there are plenty of rules and regulations that apply to the insurance policy and your pet.
It’s wise to review your current homeowner’s insurance policy and read the fine print to discover what dogs will insurance not cover. Some insurance companies don’t cover certain dog breeds or property damage caused by dogs but will cover bites.
What Dogs Will Insurance Not Cover?
Continue reading to find out if insurance companies cover your dog’s breed and exactly where you stand when it comes to homeowners insurance and your pet.
What dogs will homeowners insurance not cover?
In certain areas of the country, there is a wide range of dog breeds that are responsible for biting claims. Since insurance companies receive repetitive claims for the following dog breeds, they have labeled them as high-risk and refuse to offer coverage where they are concerned.
- Chow Chow
- Doberman Pinscher
- Staffordshire Terrier
- Pit Bull Terrier
- Siberian Husky
- Great Dane
- German Shepherd
- Wolf breeds
What Dog Breeds are Considered Dangerous by Insurance?
Dogs that bite and chase neighbors are often labeled as dangerous by insurance companies. Chances are if your dog has already bitten someone and you filed a claim with your insurance company, they will find the second or any attempt of biting as a red flag and label your dog as high-risk.
Understanding Dog Liability Laws
There are three liability laws that most states implement for dogs:
- One-Bite Rule
A homeowner is held responsible if they are aware of their dog’s aggressive nature and behavior. In this scenario, the owner is legally responsible for the injury caused.
- Dog-Bite Statute
Dog inflicted injuries such as biting or property damage caused by dogs is the responsibility of the dog owner. In this scenario, the owner is legally liable for any property damage or injuries caused by their dog.
- Negligence Laws
Dog owners who can’t control their dog’s aggressive behavior fall under the negligence law. In this scenario, the owner is liable because they failed to control their dog properly.
Homeowner’s insurance companies consider these general liability laws when establishing an insurance policy involving a dog living in the household.
Can Insurance Companies Discriminate Against Dog Breeds?
Insurance companies often label specific dog breeds as high risk which could be seen as discrimination. However, some insurance companies don’t discriminate based on your dog’s breed. Popular dog-friendly insurance companies in the United States include American Family, AIG, Nationwide, and USAA.
Is My Dog Covered on House Insurance?
Contact your homeowner’s insurance company that holds your policy to find out if your dog is covered. When speaking to a licensed insurance agent, be prepared to answer questions regarding your dog such as the ones listed below.
- What breed is your dog?
- Has your dog bit anyone in the past?
- Does your dog have aggressive behavior?
- Does your dog remain indoors or outdoors?
- Have you provided proper training for your dog?
- Has your dog damaged or destroyed any property?
Can Homeowners Insurance Drop you Because of a Dog?
Dog-related claims that involve biting run around $17,000. If your dog is a repetitive biter and racks of personal liability claims, the insurance agency can refuse to cover your dog in the future. Most companies won’t drop your entire policy but they will drop your dog from the coverage if needed.
However, beware of the fine print in your policy that could give the insurance company legal rights to dropping your entire policy if they feel the need.
Remember, if your dog is continuously the cause of personal liability claims and large medical payments are being paid out to victims on a regular basis, your insurance company can choose to cancel your policy effective immediately.
What To Do If Your Dog Isn’t Covered On Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
Look for insurance companies that are pet-friendly and offer a separate option for pet liability insurance. This type of policy is designed to cover liability for your dog and it usually covers all dog breeds.
Take Preventative Measures
While having your dog covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy is beneficial, it’s up to you as a responsible pet parent to take preventative measures. This means properly training your dog to be obedient or hiring a professional trainer to ensure your dog is well behaved.
Also, you can alert those who enter your property of a dangerous dog by placing a “beware of dog” sign in a place where it can be seen easily. Hanging it on a fence is recommended. You can even take it a step further and place a “no trespassing” sign.
This will alert anyone who is deciding to enter your property of a dangerous animal that has the potential to cause harm to them as well as breaking the no trespassing rule which will create a better case for you if your dog happens to bite someone.
Another measure you can take is to place your dog in a crate when you are expecting a visitor or service such as a plumber to arrive at your home. Make sure the door on the crate has a strong latch to lower the risk of your dog escaping. Place the crate in a room where your visitors won’t go and shut the door as an added level of security.
Overall, homeowners insurance is helpful when it’s regarding your dog biting someone who is on your property. Since some breeds are more prone to biting humans than others, most insurance companies don’t cover the breeds listed earlier.
Homeowner’s insurance policies are specific to each property, so make sure you review yours carefully. Speaking to an insurance agent regarding your dog’s breed is recommended to confirm coverage or not. Every state has different requirements and has banned different dog breeds. Check with your local insurance company for further details about homeowner’s coverage and your pets today!