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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How Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Dogs
As mentioned above, homeowners insurance covers dogs and pets in relatively the same way. If your dog damages your personal property, that is unlikely to be covered by your homeowners insurance.
However, if your dog damages a person or their property in your home, thats typically when your coverage will kick in to help with medical and legal fees.
Does Your German Shepherds Bite History Matter
The next big factor is your dogs history. Does your German Shepherd have aggressive tendencies? Has your German Shepherd bitten someone before? If so, this may limit your coverage options.
Some insurance companies raise premiums or deny coverage if your dog has a history of aggression.
Others will provide coverage if the pet is taken to behavior modification classes or restrained with a muzzle, chain, or cage.
If you have a comprehensive understanding of your dogs history, you will be more prepared to purchase the right insurance policy.
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Insurance Companies That Do Discriminate By Dog Breed
On the other hand, some companies have gone on record saying that they do consider a dog’s breed when deciding whether to insure it. These include Farmers, Geico, Nationwide and Allstate, among others.
Each insurance company has a different list of dogs it is concerned about, so you may be able to buy a policy from one of these insurers, even if others won’t cover you.
Find Cheap Homeowners Insurance Quotes In Your Area
The liability portion of homeowners insurance usually covers injuries and damage caused by your dog, such as property damage or bites. However, insurance companies may not cover damage from large dog breeds or those that have a reputation for being aggressive, as they are a bigger risk to insure.
If your insurer won’t cover your restricted breed of dog, you can better protect yourself from liability by purchasing dog-specific liability insurance, or in some cases, umbrella liability coverage.
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Federation Of Insured Dog Owners
The Federation of Insured Dog Owners is a new organization that was launched to offer Covered Canine Liability Insurance Policies for ANY breed of dog. The developers of F.I.D.O. and its unique policy realized a much-needed niche market for a product that provides valuable liability coverage for pet owners at an affordable price.
F.I.D.O.’s Covered Canine Liability Insurance Policy will cover ANY breed of dog and protect pet owners should their dog’s bite cause bodily injury. Policies start as low as $75 per year, per dog making it unique by offering more coverage than other policies and at a reasonable price. Because any dog can bite and cause injury, most housing communities have provisions for how a dog is to be maintained and insured. F.I.D.O.’s value extends beyond the affordable price by covering any breeds like Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds and Doberman pinschers, to name a few. The policies are available throughout the USA.;
The Prohibited Lists: Home Insurance Dog Breed Restrictions
If you own a dog or plan on getting one, be aware of homeowners insurance dog breed restrictions. Dogs such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, Chows, Presa Canarios and Akitas are often on banned-dog lists by home insurance companies.
Generally home insurance covers a homeowner’s liability for dog bites. But some home insurance companies have lists of prohibited dog breeds — they will not sell coverage to you, or will exclude liability and medical payments coverage for dog-related injuries — if you own a prohibited breed.
Other insurers don’t have a “list” but will judge dogs on a case-by-case basis. Many insurers ban any dog that has been “aggressive” or has a history of biting.
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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.
What Happens If I Have A Restricted Breed Of Dog
The consequences if your insurer learns you have a restricted dog breed depend on several variables, including exactly which breed you have, your particular insurer’s policies and where you live. The most common result is that insurers will increase your insurance premiums. But if your dog is one of the most notorious breeds, like a pit bull or a wolf hybrid, you’re more likely to have to agree to an exclusion.
If this happens, your liability insurance would not cover you in the event of a dog bite. Or, your insurer might not agree to sell you homeowners liability coverage at all, especially if your dog has previously exhibited signs of aggression.
Does homeowners insurance cover dog bites? Typically your homeowners insurance does cover dog bites, as long as you don’t have a restricted breed. If your dog bites someone and you’re sued, your policy’s liability portion would cover the resulting expenses. However, making liability claims can result in much higher future rates.
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Which Insurers Dont Blacklist
The easiest way to get your dog insured is to choose a homeowners insurance company that doesnt blacklist certain breeds. Amica, Firemans, State Farm, Chubb, Nationwide, Liberty Mutual, and the militarys USAA homeowners insurance will all cover any breed. As weve already mentioned, Massachusetts residents can also get coverage through the FAIR Plan.That said, some of these companies may require a home visit by an insurance agent, or a certificate of graduation from obedience school.
You may also need to shop around for different insurance agents. Some individual agents are hesitant to cover certain breeds. Even if one agent declines to issue a policy, you may be able to get a policy from the same company through a different agent.
Does Home Insurance Include Dog Bite Insurance
Most homeowners insurance policies will cover dog bites through your policys liability coverage. Its important to note that this can vary depending on the state you live in and your insurance company. Your dogs breed and its bite history will also affect whether your dog will be extended coverage.
Homeowners insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability legal expenses, up to the liability limits . If the claim exceeds the limit, the dog owner is responsible for all damages above that amount.
Some companies may consider the owner liable if their dog has a bite history. Other companies consider the owner liable regardless of the dogs bite history. According to the Insurance Information Institute , the average cost per claim for a dog bite was $50,425 in 2020.2
Additionally, the bite doesnt have to occur in your home to be covered by homeowners insurance. Dog bites caused by your pet that are found to be your fault are covered almost anywhere they happen. However, there are situations where your insurer wont pay for bite injuries. For example, if you encourage your dog to bite someone or set your dog on a person, you likely wont be covered.
This is why its so important to read the fine print of your homeowners insurance plan to know exactly what you would be held liable for in the event that your dog bites a person.
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How Can I Get Dog
Most homeowners insurance companies have provisions for pet coverage. Some are breed-specific; some are not. Begin with your current homeowners insurance to understand whether or not they cover your breed and the impact of pet coverage on your current rate. Next, compare insurance configurations with other insurance providers that are deemed dog-friendly to see how well youll fare financially with each one.
Exclude The Dog Entirely
If youre having severe difficulty finding an insurance policy that accepts your dogs breed, you may consider excluding them entirely. Keep in mind, though that is a dangerous game to play. If your dog causes damage or injury, you will be paying out of pocket. Those payments can easily range from $500 to $50,000, depending on the circumstances.
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It’s Not The Breed It’s The Dog Bite
Dog bites can impact bite victims even after scars heal, so use caution around canines.
One of the most traumatizing accidents that can happen to anyone is being bitten or injured by man’s best friend. Dog-related injuries result in physical and emotional scars to the victim. For the dog, it can result in abandonment or euthanasia. While an overwhelming majority of interactions with dogs don’t result in injury, most dog bites could be prevented by practicing responsible pet ownership.
Do Renters Insurance Companies Have Breed Restrictions
Just like homeowners insurance, renters insurance includes liability protection if your dog causes injury or property damage. And some renters insurance policies will also base coverage decisions on what breed of dog you have.
If you own a pit bull and rent your apartment, for example, you may have to pay a higher premium, or your renters insurance may not provide coverage for damage your dog causes.
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Get That Doggie A Diploma Save Some Dough
A less costly option is to get your canine certified as a good citizen, by way of enrolling it;in obedience training classes that prove youve got a well-mannered pup at the end of your leash. The American Kennel Club started its Canine Good Citizen Program in 1989 to reward dogs that;had good manners in their homes and in their communities.;The dogs go through a six-week training program, then take a 10-step test, showing they can be polite to strangers, come when called, and play nice with other dogs, among other fine behaviors. There is no official test for peeing on the rug, alas, but your dog passes only if it;refrains from barking, whining, or pacing nervously.
This seems to be particularly favorable with homeowners association, co-op, and condo boards, according to Loretta Worters, vice president of communications for the Insurance Information Institute. Many insurance agents will accept certificates from AKCs Canine Good Citizen Program and other dog training programs, says;Worters.
Andrea Arden of Andrea Arden Dog Training in New York City has seen an uptick in clients requesting diplomas or letters that they give to their co-op or condo boards;.;Arden and her staff meet with clients to;tailor the training around specific behaviors that need correctinglike barking, separation anxiety, or destroying stuff;in the house.;There wont be any fighting, biting, growling, or taking;food from your hands . And: no barking.
How Much Does A Dog Add To Your Home Insurance Premium
Having a dog can increase your cost for homeowners insurance. Pet ownership is one element that insurers use to determine risk. The exact cost of adding a dog to your homeowners insurance will depend on the breed and where you live, among other factors.
If you need to file a claim related to your pet, especially following a dog bite, your homeowners insurance rate could increase or even result in your policy being cancelled or nonrenewed.
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What Are The Facts On Home Insurance And Dogs
Here are some basic facts about dog ownership and homeowners insurance:
- According to the American Veterinary Association, almost 40 percent of American households have a dog.
- Thats over 48 million households, with an average of 1.6 dogs per household. The Humane Society estimates the numbers at over 83 million.
- The CDC estimates that about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. One in five of these requires serious medical attention.
- The average cost of an insurance claim related to a dog bite in 2018 was over $39,017. Dog bite insurance claims cost insurers over $675 million in liability claims that same year.
- While the number of dog bite claims has fallen, the cost of such claims continues to rise.
- Most dog bite-related claims occur in California and Illinois.
- While a few states outlaw breed profiling, many insurance companies allow the denial or cancellation of coverage if a homeowner owns a certain breed of dog.
The statistics listed above show that owning a dog is no longer as cut and dry as walking, feeding, and cleaning up after your pet.
Are you covered by your home insurance policy if your dog bites someone while walking? Do you have to inform your insurance company about a new dog?
Homeowners with dogs need to be sure that they understand the ins and outs as well as the extent of their policy coverage when it comes to dog-related insurance claims.
Will My German Shepherd Increase My Homeowners Insurance
FEB 2020 | 1 MIN READ
If you own a German Shepherd, your dog may or may not increase the cost of your homeowners insurance. It depends on several factors, including what state youre in and which insurance company youre using. The good news? Your rates may stay the same. The bad news? You may not be able to get coverage at all.
So, why is this so complicated? And how do you get affordable coverage?
Well explain why home insurance companies do what they do, and which ones are best for dog owners. Well also talk about alternative insurance options, and how you can keep your rates as low as possible.
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Can An Insurance Company Discriminate Against Dog Breeds
Legally speaking some home insurance companies do discriminate against certain dog breeds or dogs that have had an incident that involved a bite or attack that caused damage to someone. However, there are ways to get around your insurance companies restricted dog breeds list.
Foley says one of the home insurers he works with wont extend coverage to a homeowner who owns a breed of dog that it classifies as aggressive, or a blacklisted breed such as a pit bull. That information is spelled out in the insurers underwriting guidelines.
This insurance company will cancel coverage at the renewal date if you acquire an aggressive breed of dog and they find out. I recently lost a client because they got a Doberman, Foley says.
With another home insurer that Foley represents, a prospective customer will be asked whether he has a dog. If that customer discloses that he has a dog, hell be asked whether the dog ever has acted aggressively or has ever bitten someone no matter what the breed is. If the answer is yes, they will decline the application. If the answer is no, the application is acceptable, Foley says.
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.
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How Can I Compare Home Insurance Quotes Online
That depends on whether you like doing things the hard way or the easy way. If you know the companies that you want to compare, you can usually go directly to their website and fiddle with their quote calculator. The easy way is to find a home insurance quotes comparison website, like Insurify, that can run the numbers all at once using up-to-the-minute data from several insurance companies in your area.
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 .
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