Dog Breeds that Affect Your Homeowner’s Insurance

dog with head out car window

Did you know that having certain dog breeds could possibly affect the cost of your homeowner’s insurance? According to the National Pet Owners Survey there are approximately 79 million pet dogs in the U.S. While having a dog is popular, it is important to know how your homeowner’s insurance is affected.

Why Would a Dog Affect Insurance?

While dogs provide unconditional love to their owners, dogs are able to injure. In fact, dogs cause many injuries to people every year and do considerable damage to houses and buildings as well. Statistics also show that insurers spent north of $600 million every year as a result of insurance liability claims due to dog bites and injuries. This justifies insurance companies offering coverage at a cost to homeowners with dogs as pets.

Which Breeds Have High Premiums?

Dog breeds that are typically associated with higher insurance premiums include numerous breeds.  However, each insurance company has their own list and rules when it comes to insuring homes with dogs. Some will to cover almost any dog while others have restrictions.

For your benefit, here is the list of top ten dog breeds that not only drive up insurance premiums but may also get you blacklisted altogether:

1.       Pit bull-type breeds

2.       German shepherds

3.       Rottweilers

4.       Presa canarios

5.       Chows-chows

6.       Dobermans

7.       Akitas

8.       Staffordshire terriers

9.       Any kind of wolf hybrid

10.   Mastiffs

Other breeds commonly on the red list of insurers are cane corsos, Siberian Huskies, Great Danes and Alaskan malamutes. However, there is no specified list that applies to all insurance companies. It is always advisable to check with the insurance companies individually and gauge different policies before arriving upon a decision.

What Do I Do If I Have a Dog and Need Homeowner Insurance?

No matter how unfair you think this approach of insurance companies is, there is little escape from it in current economic laws. However, there are several ways to get the best insurance deals and keep your favorite breeds of dogs as pets too.

Don’t Hide the Truth

Hiding the breed of the pet dog or the fact that you own a dog altogether is not the right approach. It is not only immoral and unethical but practically dangerous as well. If your wolf breed dog that you presented as a dachshund in your insurance application ends up biting someone, the insurance company will certainly not cover it. Furthermore, if such a lie is exposed you will be blacklisted from getting homeowner insurance altogether.

Look for Discounts with Insurance Agents

Insurance companies are as willing to sell their insurance packages as they are interested in protecting themselves against high-cost claims. This means that while they might be less favorable towards dog owners, insurance companies still offer policies for dog owners. They also may offer ways to improve the cost. An example of such an offer would be to lower premiums if you and your dog complete a recognized obedience class.

Take Responsibility for the Dog

Be careful that your dog does not bite anyone or causes any damage that may require you to file an insurance claim. In addition, consider getting a separate policy altogether. If you exclude the dog from your homeowners insurance and simply get a separate policy for the dog, it will make things a lot easier. There will be additional costs for additional policies, but they might be lower as compared to getting one policy at higher premium.

Additional Steps to Minimize Risks and Costs

One of the easiest ways to offset the higher insurance cost of keeping a dog is to stay claim-free. You’ll be able to tell your insurance companies that there is no reason to worry about potential damages from the dog. Here are some ways that can be done:

  • Socialize your dog from a very early age and let them play with other humans and dogs
  • Get your dog vaccinated regularly and be mindful of their general health as well
  • Train your dog to drop toys etc. so no one has to touch their mouths
  • Keep your furry friend on a leash when you are out of the home or even in the yard
  • Do not leave your dog alone with children or with unfamiliar people, especially if the dog is not automatically friendly towards them
  • Make sure that your guests also respect the dog’s space and do not annoy or disturb it when it’s sleeping or eating

Final Word

Dogs are wonderful pets. If you are looking to include your dog in your homeowner’s policy, you now understand about certain breeds that may cost more. Find out your options so you won’t over pay but still be protected.