How Homeowners Insurance Can Stop A Dog Bite Hurting Your Wallet
;No matter how sweet or well-behaved your dog is, mishaps and misunderstandings still happen.
Roughly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs annually. Even when its totally out of character, an unfortunate situation or ill-timed sequence of events could have your canine causing injury to a child in your backyard or a friend visiting your home.
And as the pet parent responsible for your dog, youll need to foot the bill for any dog-related injuries.
What If My Insurance Company Denies Or Cancels My Homeowners Insurance I Want To Keep My Dog
Many insurance companies do not automatically reject owners of certain breeds, but may require letters from veterinarians, dog obedience certificates, or a home visit by an insurance agent. If your insurance company will not insure you because of the breed of dog you own, check with your insurance agent, who may know of another company that will insure you.
In addition, some companies may insure you but exclude the animal from the policy. In Massachusetts, if homeowners are denied coverage, insurance can be obtained through the states FAIR Plan, operated by the Massachusetts Insurance Property Underwriting Association. The FAIR Plan can be reached at Two Center Plaza, Boston, MA 02108-1904, 723-3800 or 392-6108, and at .
Dog Bites And Insurance
State Farm does not ask what breed of dog is owned when writing homeowner or renters insurance. Just like humans, dogs are individuals. Every dog has a unique personality. While a dogs breed may dictate what the dog looks like, how a dog reacts to people or situations isnt guaranteed by breed or type. Most bites or serious injuries are a perfect storm of situation and circumstance. Responsible dog ownership and educating children and adults about how to safely interact with a dog will help reduce the chance of a dog bite or injury. Remember, under the right circumstances, any dog can bite.
Insurance is an important aspect to being a responsible dog owner. When renting a property make sure to have rental insurance because most landlords do not provide coverage should there be a dog bite incident. If you are a homeowner, talk to your insurance agent about what is covered under a standard homeowners policy related to dogs.
You may also want to consider the importance of your dog having insurance of their own. State Farm is working with Trupanion, a leader in high-quality insurance for cats and dogs, to help protect your pet from new and unexpected illnesses and injuries. Discover how a pet insurance policy can be there for your pet during their lifetime. Talk to a State Farm agent or get a free, no-obligation quote online today.
Terms and conditions do apply. We love informed decisions. See the Trupanion policy for full coverage details.
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Making Sure Your Homeowners Insurance Covers Dog Bites
Dog-related injuries are typically covered under the personal liability portion of a homeowners or renters insurance policy. The coverage ranges from $100,000 to $300,000. Liability limits are shown with two numbers like $30,000 / $90,000, explains Todd Erkis, FSA, CERA, MAAA, and author of What Insurance Companies Dont Want You to Know. The first number is the maximum that the policy will pay per person. The second number is the maximum it will pay for any one incident. If a claim exceeds your coverage limits, you will be on the line for the damages.;
The liability insurance is there to protect your net worth, says Erkis. In other words, if a person has $30,000 in savings and their dog bites someone leading to $30,000 in medical costs and a legal award for pain and suffering, all of their savings could be wiped out. So make sure you get a policy with sufficient coverage to protect your finances.
Add Mans Best Friend To Your Homeowners Insurance
Dogs of all shapes and sizes can be the perfect companion, however, no matter how loving or well-trained your dog is, they still come with risks. Always tell your insurance agent what kind of dog you have and double-check that your dog is covered in your homeowners insurance policy. If your current insurance provider will not cover your dog, then keep looking for another company that will cover your beloved pet.
Including your dog in your homeowner insurance policy protects you, your pocket book and ensures coverage of any future dog-related accidents.
About Ryan Ruffcorn
Ryan grew up in Keokuk, graduated from Keokuk Senior High, and started his agency in Keokuk from scratch in 2003 after having worked for one of the largest international accounting firms, KPMG, LLP.
Ryan is hardworking; his loyal and trustworthy character is exemplified by the way he does business. He thoroughly enjoys helping clients through the insurance buying process to secure coverage for their most valuable assets.
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How Does Home Insurance Cover Pet Liability
When you own a pet, you’re legally liable for any injuries or damages caused by the animal. Homeowners insurance won’t cover property damage or injury to occupants of your home caused by a pet, but generally covers claims that other parties make as a result of your pet’s actionsregardless of whether the incident happened at your home or elsewhere. Coverage typically applies even if the pet is not in your care at the time of the incident, such as a friend pet sitting while you’re on vacation.
Pets may be covered under the liability limits of the owners home insurance policy, typically between $100,000 and $500,000. Some pet owners choose to supplement their coverage with an additional umbrella policy.
Your home insurance wont cover damages or injuries you suffer due to another person’s pet. In this instance, you may file a claim against the responsible pet owner’s homeowners or renters insurance policy.
How Much More Will Canine Liability Cost
Pet Liability Insurance indicates that most policies aimed at protecting owners from the financial liability posed by their pets’ misadventures cost between $100 and $400 per year. These misadventures include bite incidents but also cover damage to property — yours or your neighbors — that was not malicious but instead an unintended consequence of normal canine behavior. Bottom end policies provide $100,000 in coverage. The top-end of available coverage ranges up to $1 million.
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Why Breed Restrictions Arent Posted On Insurance Companies Websites
Before we get into our lists, theres some information youll want to know about how insurance policies are determined.
First of all, the laws governing dog bite liability vary by state. This means your policy will be affected by the state you live in.
Similarly, liability coverage itself will vary by state. Not only that, most insurance companies dont have any overarching policies in terms of breed restrictions.
Instead, they have a number of entities working with them who determine your policy based on where you live and your specific situation.
This is why insurance companies dont simply state their breed restrictions on their websites: restrictions vary depending on where you live and who is writing your policy.
All of the information in this article was taken directly from conversations with customer service representatives and insurance agents.
However, you may still want to contact any companies youre interested in to learn more about potential restrictions in your area.
Does Owning A Rottweiler Increase Homeowners Insurance
According to HomeInsurance.org, Dog breeds that are typically associated with higher insurance premiums include Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Akitas, and wolf-dog hybrids. Forbes.com adds Chows, Great Danes, Presa Canarios, and Alaskan Malamutes to their list.
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What Dogs Are Not Allowed With State Farm Insurance
The breeds insurance companies believe pose the greatest risk of incident are labeled as dangerous. The dangerous dog category includes pit bulls, rottweilers, chow chows, German shepherds, Siberian huskies, Alaskan malamutes, Doberman pinschers, Presa Canario bulldogs, Great Danes, boxers, Akitas and wolf hybrids.
Will The Breed Of My Dog Impact My Insurance Premium
Any dog can impact an insurance premium, especially if it is one;of these infamous breeds. If you own one or more of the dog breeds below, you can add umbrella insurance to your existing insurance policy to help protect you from bodily injury liability lawsuits and property damage liability lawsuits. Check them out:
1. Pit Bulls
Owners of pit bull-type dogs have long deal with strong breed stigma. Many people believe pit bulls are way more aggressive than other dog breeds. This is because these dogs are more frequently identified in cases involving severe injuries or fatalities. But this may be due to the popularity of pit bulls. In fact, controlled studies have not found pit bulls to be disproportionately dangerous. In fact, the American Veterinary Medical Association has found that breed is a poor sole predictor of dog bites.
Still, the stigma exists. Some jurisdictions have passed laws that ban pit bulls and many insurance companies will not cover a pit bull bite.
2. Staffordshire Terriers
Staffordshire Terriers is a medium-sized, short-coated dog that is considered to be within the pit bull-type, and therefore have a reputation of aggressiveness. Staffordshires are known to fight when challenged, especially when encountering stranger dogs. This breed is also considered many to be headstrong and stubborn, which worsens their aggression.
Because of this, many insurance companies will not cover a liability incident that involves a Staffie.
3. Doberman Pinschers
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Homeowners Insurance May Not Cover Theses
Your home will be one of the most significant investments you will ever make, both economically and emotionally. Your family will spend countless hours there, among some of your most prized possessions. In the event of any misfortune, let us give you the peace of mind knowing that you are well protected.
Here are a few things not covered under a standard home insurance policy.
If you run an in-home business, your homeowners insurance will not cover the liability arising out of running your business. Homeowners insurance will also not cover damaged property owned by the business. We recommend you purchase a business owners policy.
Your Sewer Backed Up
Torrential downpours could cause sewer backups into your drains and basements, causing thousands of dollars in damage. Most sewer backups, however, are not covered under a standard policy, nor are they covered by flood insurance. The good news: You may be able to purchase a separate rider for protection.
Certain Dog Breeds
Certain dog breeds are also sometimes not covered under your homeowners liability insurance. While the list varies by insurance carrier, breeds that are large or thought to be aggressivelike pit bulls, Rottweilers and German shepherds may not be covered under your policy.
All homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage resulting from flood. You will need to obtain coverage through the Federal Flood program.
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Are My Pets Covered Under A Standard Homeowners Insurance Policy
As a new homeowner, Im curious about what all is covered under my insurance. Im concerned about having coverage for my pets, including if they injure guests, damage my property, or get hurt themselves. I know that certain incidents could be extremely costly, especially if they involve a lawsuit. Do standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for my pets?
Probably not in the way many people would like it to, no. What homeowners insurance does provide coverage for are liability issues relating to pets. This tends to be the extent of the coverage, though. Your homeowners insurance policy wont cover your vet bills if your pet gets injured or sick on your property, and it wont cover physical damage they cause to your home or other property. But if you get sued because your pet injures another person, youll be covered.
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Are Pets Covered Under Homeowners Insurance
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Homeowners insurance typically does not cover damage your pet does to your personal property or your dwelling. Liability coverage may help cover damage your pet does to another person’s property.
Likewise, how much does homeowners insurance go up with a dog? Every policy is different, so homeowners should call their insurer beforehand to see what kinds of pets are covered, especially if you plan to welcome a new pet into your family. We’ve found that the average home insurance rate increase for owning an “aggressive breed” dog is only . 3%.
Regarding this, what dogs are covered by homeowners insurance?
Speaking of which, the dog breeds listed below tend to make insurance companies the most nervous.
What breeds of dogs will insurance companies not cover?
Here is a list of dog breeds that most companies will not insure:
- Pit Bulls & Staffordshire Terriers.
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The Elephant In The Room
Dogs aren’t the only animals that might be banned by home insurance companies. Insurers also typically won’t cover “exotic” animals. While definitions of exotic can vary, here are examples of other animals commonly excluded from home insurance coverage.
- Monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, baboons, mandrills, orangutans.
- Lions, tigers, bobcats, lynx, cougars, leopards, jaguars, ocelots and panthers.
- Wolves, coyotes, foxes and jackals.
- All bears.
- Venomous snakes, constricting snakes and carnivorous reptiles.
- Alligators and crocodiles.
- Hippopotamuses, giraffes, camels and elk.
- Raccoons and coatis.
- Mink, ermine, weasels, sables, stoats, otters, badgers, wolverines and skunks.
Are Dog Owners Covered For Any Incidents Or Damages Their Dog May Cause
Including dogs in your homeowners insurance is possible and important because of the risk that dogs pose. However, not all insurance companies may cover dogs and some may deny coverage for specific breeds so it takes a little extra research when looking for insurance providers.
Spending the extra time to ensure your dog is covered in your homeowners insurance is necessary because if your dog isnt covered, you will have to pay for future dog-related damages out of your own pocket.
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Homeowners Dog Breed Restrictions
Dog-related injuries covered by homeowners or renters insurance may not be as comprehensive as you think. While insurers will cover most dog breeds, some; will deny you outright coverage for certain breeds deemed as dangerous or have been historically categorized as problematic.
We know, it doesnt seem fair when your Pit Bull Doris is super sweet to children, certain breeds such as Rottweilers, German Shepherds, and Akitas are considered high risk.
Some insurers may not insure homeowners or renters outright if you own a certain dog breed. Others may determine on a case-by-case basis. If your dog was involved in an injury before, you may not be granted coverage.
If you have questions, ask your insurer before signing up for an insurance policy. Otherwise, you may not have the coverage you need, which could cost you severely.
Given how prevalent the problem is, not surprisingly, insurers are quite interested in the incidence of and reduction in dog bites, explains Whittle. Its quite important the risks of dog bites be reflected in insurance rates and underwriting decisions, he says.
If insurers are not free to rate and underwrite for this obvious risk, then less risky insureds may bear a greater risk for other peoples dog ownership. No bueno.
Are Pitbulls More Expensive To Insure
Pet insurance may cost more or less depending on where you live, your dogs age, and what policy parameters you choose. Policies for Pit Bulls can cost more than those for mixed breed dogs because they are much more likely than mixed breed dogs to make claims for hereditary conditions that are expensive to treat.
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Is It Legal For My Insurance Company To Deny Cancel Or Increase My Premium Because Of The Type Of Dog I Own
Yes. The law does not prohibit insurance companies from discrimination based on breed. While breed-specific city and town ordinances have been challenged on constitutional grounds, such as due process and equal protection, insurance companies because they are not part of the government are not subject to these constitutional restrictions.
Are Dogs Covered Under Home Insurance
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People Also Asked, Is my dog covered on house insurance?
No. While standard home insurance policies do include bodily injury coverage, you cant claim for injuries sustained by you or your pets on your property. Your homeowners insurance policys liability coverage is there to protect you by covering, up to your limits, damage that others sustain on your property.
Also know, how much does a dog Add to home insurance? Homeowners policies typically cover dog bite liability expenses up to a certain price, the limit is usually between $100,000 to $300,000.
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When And How Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Pets
Youre only covered for liability-related claims under your homeowners insurance when it comes to your pets. There are two main areas where pets may cause liability issues that result in lawsuits against you. Well break down each for a better understanding.
Standard homeowners policies provide liability coverage for pets in the following ways:
- Bodily injury liability: If your cat, dog, or other pet injures a guest on your property, or your bring your pet with you to someone elses house and your pet injures a guest or tenant there, your homeowners policy provides coverage for the damages. Your insurance will reimburse you for fees relating to medical payments if the injury is bad enough to require a hospital visit, and also legal fees if you are sued. Legal fees will cover your attorney, court fees, and any settlements youre ordered to pay if the case rules against you.
- Property damage liability: If your dog or horse escapes and ends up trampling or destroying someone elses property, your homeowners policy will cover you. Your insurance will cover the fees to repair the property damage itself, in addition to any legal fees from a potential lawsuit.
Homeowners insurance does not cover pets in the following ways: