How Dogs Affect Your Homeowners Insurance (In 2020)

Nov 09, 2019 (0) comment

homeowners insurance dogs

​You probably weren't thinking about how bringing a dog into your family might affect your home insurance.

But hear me out:

​​The type of dog you buy could completely ​change the structure of your homeowners insurance policy.

You could see an increase in your premium or your dog might not be covered.

homeowners insurance dogs

​In this post today, I will go over exactly how homeowner insurance​ is affected by your dog based on their breed, how to get the most affordable policy and how to stay a responsible pet parent.

​In This Article

​How ​Will A Dog Affect Your Homeowners Insurance?

​When you purchase a homeowners insurance policy it comes with Personal Liability and Medical coverage. 

This coverage is there to protect you or a family member if you damage someone's person or their property.

​This also includes medical coverage if your dog bites someone and they decide to sue you.

​According to the Insurance Information Institute, about 1/3rd of all home insurance claims come from dog bites​ and in 2015 insurers paid over $500 million in 2015 in dog bite claims alone.

​According to AVMA, in 2017 there were nearly 350,000 people treated at hospital emergency rooms for non-fatal dog-related injuries.

All of this to say, that if you have a dog the home insurance companies will cover you might want to have a bit more coverage just in case. ​

However, most ​homeowners insurance companies base their underwriting decisions only on the breed, with certain types of dogs being excluded entirely.

Dogs Usually Blacklisted By Home Insurance Companies

Depending on the dog that you have they can affect your homeowners insurance ​premiums, while others are completely blacklisted.

If you have one of the following breeds, you may have to sign an exemption waiver, or you may ​not even be offered coverage:

  • ​Pit Bull Type Breeds
  • ​Rottweilers
  • ​Alaskan and Siberian Huskies
  • ​Wolf ​Hybrids
  • ​Alaskan Malamute
  • ​Staffordshire Terriers
  • ​Akitas
  • ​Dobermans
  • ​Chow-Chows
  • ​German shepherds
  • ​Mastiffs
  • ​Great Danes

Keep in mind that this list is not ​set in stone, and each insurer will take a different stance.​

It's best to check directly with your homeowners insurance ​company to see what they cover and how it deals with individual breeds.

​Simply Insurance is the ​simplest & fastest way to compare ​home insurance online.

​"Simply Insurance... focuses on consumer-facing insurance products and instant online insurance quotes"

- USA Weekly

​Being A Responsible Pet Parent

Now, I am sure you can understand that many pet parents scoff at this list and find it to be unfair.

As a matter of a fact, both Pennsylvania and Michigan have stopped insurance companies from making decisions based on breed alone.

Other states are set to follow, which means that each premium will depend on the individual dog.

However, for most of us, dogs affect homeowner insurance according to their breed alone.

Here are a few things you can ​do as a responsible pet parent:

​Be Honest About Your Dog Breed

​Be up front about the type of dog you have, it never helps you to lie to an insurance company about anything that may affect your ability to be covered.

​If your dog bites someone and it is a different breed than you said it was, you won't be covered for that claim and might lose all of your coverage.

​Ask About Discounts

​Some insurance companies may be willing to work with you to bring premiums down.

For ​instance, if you and your dog complete a recognized obedience class, your insurer may agree to cover the costs.

​Look Into Umbrella Insurance

Your umbrella insurance policy would cover your pet no matter what breed they are if they were to bite someone.

It might be easier to use that coverage than try to find a company that will accept them if they are one of the blacklisted breeds.

You might also be able to find a stand alone liability policy for your breed. 

​Shop Around

​Did you know that more than 70% of ​homeowners don't do any shopping for their home insurance policy. 

This means that they are not only leaving money on the table, but probably are under insured.

Be sure to shop around and get several quotes before you decide on a specific insurance company​.  

After all, your ​furbaby is part of the family and deserves the right kind of protection.

​How Much ​Coverage Do I Need If I Have A Dog?

​According to the III, ​a homeowners insurance policy might cover up to $100,000 to $300,000 in damages for personal liability.

You would be responsible for any amount that went over that amount, so with that being said you probably want to increase the liability part of your insurance plan.

I would say try to do at the least 50% more coverage than is offered.

You can also purchase an umbrella policy as we discussed above. 

​Should I Tell My Insurance ​Company If I Adopt A Dog?

​You should keep your policy updated with the most accurate information so if you adopt a dog, Yes, you should tell your insurance company.

This is especially important if it is one of the dogs that are usually blacklisted.  Learn more about what to look out for when shopping for dog pet insurance here

If you don't tell the insurance company about this you can be in for some trouble down the line.

Any claim that you file due to a dog bite could be instantly declined because you never told them you had a dog in the first place.

Your policy could even be cancelled in its entirety. 

​If you already have a homeowners policy, read it over if you’re thinking of getting a dog. If it’s not clear, contact your agent or someone else at your insurance company for the specifics.

​Simply Insurance is the ​simplest & fastest way to compare ​home insurance online.

​"Simply Insurance... focuses on consumer-facing insurance products and instant online insurance quotes"

- USA Weekly

​Does My Dog Breed Matter If I Am A Renter?

​You are going to need to read over your renters insurance policy to see if they cover your dog breed as well. ​

Since renters insurance only covers your personal property, loss of use, and liability it works a bit different than homeowners.

This means some policies might cover your dog, some may not ​so check with your agent (or someone else at your insurer) if you’re not sure about the extent of your coverage.

Take Action

Now that you know how the deductibles work for a homeowners insurance plan, you should be better equipped to purchase the best policy for you and your family.

There is no need to wait to get a home insurance quote and believe it or not, more than 70% of people don’t shop for their homeowners insurance, they just take what is given.

So you are already ahead of the game by reading this article.

You can get a quote by clicking here or on the button above, whatever you do, no matter what deductible you choose, pick a policy you will be able to afford.

Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 11 years of experience in the industry.  He specializes in Life & Health Insurance and is certified in Long Term Care Insurance in the state of Georgia. He is also an Official Member of the Forbes Finance Council, a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia (License #382602), an entrepreneur, insurance educator, and freelance writer.

All posts by Mark Mathon

Comment (0)