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Which Dog Breeds Are Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Jackie Maroney

Jackie Maroney

If you have a dog, your home insurance may not cover damages or injuries. Find out what's covered and what's not, if your premiums will go up, and which insurance companies are willing to cover you.
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Living with a dog is not always easy. There's a lot of responsibility when comes to dog ownership.

There's also a lot of responsibility when it comes to homeownership including making sure you have insurance to cover the what-ifs.

Home insurance is critical to have as it provides coverage for your home, belongings, and more.

Usually, your homeowners insurance will even provide liability protection in case your pet causes damage or injuries.

If you own a dog, take another look at your homeowners insurance policy to see what your company provides as there are exclusions and limits.

Whether you currently have a dog or are looking to own one, you should definitely let your insurance agent know.

One main reason is that if your dog attacks someone prior to your insurance provider is notified, then they may not cover the costs of the injury or damage.

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 really 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 that has no particular breed restrictions.

Home Insurance Carriers That Are Flexible With Dog Breed Restrictions:

  • State Farm
  • USAA
  • Amica
  • Fireman’s
  • Chubb
  • Nationwide

A Caveat For Insurance Companies That Are More Flexible

Just because an insurance company might not have an outright ban on any particular breed, it doesn't necessarily mean they couldn't either deny coverage for a dog-related claim or deny coverage to 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 that your premiums are a little higher. A rise in premium can even happen if you're already covered and you happened to get a new dog.

Breeds of Dogs That Most Home Insurance Companies Will Cover

Basically, 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.

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Popular Dog Breeds Typically Covered Under Home Insurance:

  • Beagle
  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Irish Setter
  • Pug
  • Collie
  • French Bulldog
  • Newfoundland
  • 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 are 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.

If your dog damages other people's property, the owner can likely file a claim. 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.

Coverage for Situations Involving Your Dog
SituationCovered 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

There are certain breeds that 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 own list of unacceptable breeds which varies depending on the provider.

Some are strict on certain breeds while others will allow almost any kind of 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”.

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Breeds of Dogs Not Typically Covered Under Home Insurance:
BreedReason for Disqualification
Pit Bull Terriers and Other Related TerriersNotorious for aggressiveness and attacks. Considered high-risk. Powerful bite.
Presa CanariosHighly alert and protective. Can become aggressive.
RottweilersVery protective temperament--can lead to aggressive behavior. Very powerful bite.
Doberman PinschersDominant and territorial nature can lead to high-risk behavior. Very powerful bite.
German ShepherdsDominant temperament--needs strong leadership. Powerful bite.
AkitasStrong hunting instincts that need to be kept in check.
Chows-ChowsUsually calm but can be unpredictable and startle easily. Powerful bite.
Siberian HuskiesUnpredictable and frustrated when not given proper exercise.
Alaskan MalamutesKnown to be destructive of property when not given proper exercise.
Great DanesWithout socialization, they are suspicious of everyone. Can be dangerous due to size and power.
Wolf-hybridsHybrids 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 a dog, it is important 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

If your insurance company won't cover any pet incidents, you can purchase additional pet liability insurance. You should also check with your insurance carrier to see if they offer additional coverage.

This is a great option not just for your dog but for other types of pets you might have.

Give Them Plenty of Exercise

Most of the breeds listed in our article are powerful and muscular dogs that are large in size. 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 their chance to run around and release the energy it can get focus it in the wrong way.

If you are seriously considering adopting one of the breeds on the commonly banned breeds, you need to make the commitment to get 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.

There are plenty of dog breeds not on the "high-risk" list that can still act out even with negative behavior when they don't get the proper exercise.

Socialize Them

When adding a dog to your family, it is important to have them socialize as soon as possible to make them feel comfortable and to adapt easily to their surroundings.

By properly training your puppy and getting them acclimated to being around others, you 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 easily as to other dogs so organizing doggy playdates and taking them to the dog run, and supervising their behavior is essential to ensure that 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, every dog should be watched when with a child 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 that the dog might be giving leading to a bad incident.

Teach children what is 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 how to treat a dog by establishing rules right away.

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 pooch any human food.

In short, you and your family members need to know how to act in order to curb any unwanted behavior and to 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.

If you have a dog with a past or a high liability breed, you may want to purchase an umbrella policy.

Umbrella coverage is an inexpensive way to buy extra liability coverage, even in the millions.

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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

If someone gets hurt on your property and decides to sue you, personal liability will protect you.

This also includes your pet to some extent. If your dog bites someone on your property and they file a lawsuit against you, you will be covered.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost for a dog bite claim in 2020 was $50,425.

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

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 keep in mind that medical coverage under home insurance is limited and only for minor injuries.