Which Dog Breeds Are Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
While owning a dog brings joy and companionship, it also comes with the responsibility of dedicating the time and resources to care for your furry friend. This includes ensuring that your home, the sanctuary of your four-legged family member, is covered by homeowners insurance.
A reliable home insurance policy provides comprehensive coverage for your possessions and financial protection in case of liability issues. Moreover, one of the many benefits of homeowners insurance is that, in case of issues related to dog ownership, it offers added protection against damage or injuries that your pet might cause.
If you’re a proud dog owner, examining your home insurance policy to know what is covered and what isn’t is crucial. Owners should remember that some policies carry certain exclusions and limitations, particularly when your pet is involved.
That being said, whether you’re a current or a prospective dog owner, it’s always wise to inform your insurance agent of your furry friend. By communicating this information, you are taking proactive steps to ensure that your insurance coverage remains intact, even in unexpected situations that may arise. Remember, in the unfortunate event that your dog causes damage, notifying your insurance provider - before an incident - is extremely important, as it may otherwise affect your coverage.
Which Homeowners Insurance Accepts All Breeds?
It can be hard to find an insurance provider to cover your Husky, even if it is the nicest dog in the world.
While there isn't a homeowners insurance company that outright covers all dogs regardless of breed, there are those that are more helpful than others.
Avoid the frustration and confusion by looking for or switching to an insurance company with no particular breed restrictions.
Home Insurance Carriers That Are Flexible With Dog Breed Restrictions:
- State Farm
A Caveat For More Flexible Insurance Companies
Just because an insurance company might not have an outright ban on any particular breed doesn't necessarily mean they couldn't deny coverage for a dog-related claim or you, period.
All flexibility means is that they are willing to judge each dog on a case-by-case basis.
They are still undoubtedly using statistics on incidents with certain breeds to help make the call, but they won't make a blanket ban and are willing to speak to the homeowner about their particular dog(s).
If your dog has a history of biting, attacking, or aggressive behavior, even the "flexible" providers may exclude your dog from any coverage.
Covering your "high-risk" dog breed might also mean your premiums are slightly higher. A rise in premium can even happen if you're already covered and you happen to get a new dog.
Breeds of Dogs That Most Home Insurance Companies Will Cover
Almost any friendly dog not listed on your provider’s “breed list” will be covered under your home insurance. However, it is always best to run the breed by your insurance agent, even if it is a friendly breed, just in case.
Popular Dog Breeds Typically Covered Under Home Insurance:
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Irish Setter
- French Bulldog
- Bernese Mountain Dog
What Does Home Insurance Cover With Your Dog?
There are all kinds of circumstances where you or someone else might want to file a claim because of your dog. Here are the following policies that might affect.
Your Dog and Your Medical Liability Coverage
If your dog causes bodily harm, it's a serious situation where you'll want to know you're covered.
If you found an insurance provider that doesn't restrict you from including your dog, the company should be covering any medical liability claims.
That means anyone outside your home who gets injured because of your dog can file a claim for medical coverage.
Some insurance companies won't cover dog bites or bites from specific breeds, so that's an important point to ask about.
How Liability Covers Your Dog
Liability coverage usually means damage to your property or possessions is covered under the outlined circumstances and causes.
Unfortunately, the damage done by your dog is not covered by this. However, this doesn't apply to all circumstances.
The owner can likely file a claim if your dog damages other people's property. Likewise, if someone else's dog damages your property, you'd be able to file a claim through their insurance.
Take note that you'd most likely have to meet a deductible for damages caused by a dog before any claims are paid out.
|Situation||Covered or Not Covered|
|Your dog bites someone.||Might be covered depending on the provider. Some restrictions to breeds depending on provider.|
|Your dog causes an accident that injures someone.||Might be covered depending on the provider.|
|Your dog destroys or damages someone's possessions or property.||Is likely covered.|
|Your dog destroys or damages your possessions or property.||Not covered by home insurance.|
|Your dog bites or injures you.||Not covered by home insurance.|
|Someone else's dog destroys or damages your possessions or property.||Covered by home insurance. You can instead file a claim with the dog owner's insurance if they have any.|
|Your dog harms another dog.||Might be covered depending on the provider.|
Breeds of Dogs That Most Home Insurance Companies Will Not Cover
Certain breeds may not be covered under home insurance or may increase your insurance premium.
These include big-chested muscular breeds such as Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and more.
Breeds that are and are not covered under home insurance depend on the insurance provider.
Even if your Pit Bull is the biggest marshmallow in the world and couldn't hurt a fly, each company has its list of unacceptable breeds, which varies depending on the provider.
Some are strict on certain breeds, while others allow almost any dog.
It is best to check with your insurance provider before adding a dog to your family to make sure that it is not on their “breed list”.
|Breed||Reason for Disqualification|
|Pit Bull Terriers and Other Related Terriers||Notorious for aggressiveness and attacks. Considered high-risk. Powerful bite.|
|Presa Canarios||Highly alert and protective. Can become aggressive.|
|Rottweilers||Very protective temperament--can lead to aggressive behavior. Very powerful bite.|
|Doberman Pinschers||Dominant and territorial nature can lead to high-risk behavior. Very powerful bite.|
|German Shepherds||Dominant temperament--needs strong leadership. Powerful bite.|
|Akitas||Strong hunting instincts that need to be kept in check.|
|Chows-Chows||Usually calm but can be unpredictable and startle easily. Powerful bite.|
|Siberian Huskies||Unpredictable and frustrated when not given proper exercise.|
|Alaskan Malamutes||Known to be destructive of property when not given proper exercise.|
|Great Danes||Without socialization, they are suspicious of everyone. Can be dangerous due to size and power.|
|Wolf-hybrids||Hybrids are illegal in some states. No approved rabies vaccine exists for wolf dogs.|
Practical Advice for Dog Owners
If you own a dog or are thinking of owning one, it is essential to know some tips to help keep them covered under your home insurance.
Even if a dog is not on your provider’s “breed list,” it may not be covered if it has a history of biting people.
Each day, nearly 1,000 people in the U.S. are rushed to the ER for serious dog bites, but there are ways to prevent this from happening.
Purchase Extra Pet Liability Coverage
You can purchase additional pet liability insurance if your insurance company doesn't cover any pet incidents. You should also check with your insurance carrier to see if they offer additional coverage.
This is a great option for your dog and other types of pets you might have.
Give Them Plenty of Exercises
Most of the breeds listed in our article are powerful and muscular dogs that are large. They need lots of exercise to expend all the pent-up energy during the day.
When a dog like a Doberman, Pit Bull, or Husky doesn't get a chance to run around and release energy, it can focus on it in the wrong way.
If you are seriously considering adopting one of the commonly banned breeds, you need to commit to getting them the proper exercise on a daily basis.
Many dog owners will tell you that it makes a huge difference in their dog's attitudes and how they behave.
Plenty of dog breeds not on the "high-risk" list can still act out even with negative behavior when they don't get the proper exercise.
When adding a dog to your family, having them socialize as soon as possible is essential to make them feel comfortable and adapt easily to their surroundings.
Properly training your puppy and getting it acclimated to being around others will decrease the chance of your pup biting someone due to fear or surprise.
Not only should you socialize them with your family and friends, but it's important to socialize them around other dogs and animals.
Some breeds don't take as quickly as other dogs, so organizing doggy playdates, taking them to the dog run, and supervising their behavior is essential to ensure your dog is well-behaved and happy.
Supervise Children Around Dogs
If you have young ones, you should closely monitor how your child and dog behave around each other.
No matter the breed or size, a child should watch every dog as they could suddenly become scared or surprised.
Children often don't know the proper way to behave around a dog or read the cues and signals the dog might be giving, leading to a bad incident.
Teach children the proper way to treat a dog and know what boundaries to keep, especially if your dog has had bad experiences before.
If you can’t thoroughly supervise your child and pet, place the dog in another room to prevent an accidental bite.
Train Both Your Dog and Family
Training your dog immediately is the best way to establish rules and prevent headaches.
If you encounter issues when training your pup, try looking into behavioral classes or obedience training.
As with a dog, it is equally important to train your family to treat a dog by establishing rules immediately.
This means explaining to young ones not to tug on the puppy’s ears and tail or explaining to loved ones not to feed the puppy any human food.
In short, you and your family need to know how to act to curb unwanted behavior and reward good behavior.
This ensures your family and your dog have a healthy relationship and dynamic, and ultimately, you're all happy.
Protect Yourself With an Umbrella Policy
Most homeowners policies have liability coverage starting at $100,000 or more.
You may want to purchase an umbrella policy if you have a dog with a past or a high-liability breed.
Umbrella coverage is an inexpensive way to buy extra liability coverage, even in the millions.
What is Homeowners Insurance?
Homeowners insurance provides liability protection for family members, including some pets. Home insurance covers damage and destruction, loss/theft of possessions, and personal liability if anyone gets hurt on your property.
Personal liability will protect you if someone gets hurt on your property and decides to sue you.
This also includes your pet to some extent. You will be covered if your dog bites someone on your property and they file a lawsuit against you.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost for a dog bite claim is over $50,000
Personal liability coverage protects you in case:
- Someone slips and falls on your property
- A visitor gets bitten by your dog in your home
- You’re responsible for a car accident
- Available in 23 states & Washington, D.C.
- Accepted by all major lenders
- No paperwork or phone calls are required
Medical Payments Coverage
If someone accidentally gets hurt on your property, medical payment coverage will take care of their medical bills.
Medical coverage under a homeowners insurance plan does not protect family members living in the house.
The coverage limit usually ranges from $1,000-$5,000. It is important to remember that medical coverage under home insurance is limited and only for minor injuries.