How your dog can affect the cost of home insurance
For home insurance companies, premiums are linked to risk. For example, insuring a house with a trampoline or a pool in the backyard can cost more. This is because both pose a higher risk of injury and increase the chances of a homeowner making a claim. The dogs are the same. While a breed of dog generally considered low risk may not have an impact on the price of home insurance, some breeds will. Worse yet, insurance companies are free to deny coverage to an owner if they consider their pet to be too risky to be covered.
Breeds that worry insurers
Owners who own any of these breeds may find it more difficult (or expensive) to obtain coverage for owners, according to the Animal Health Foundation:
- Alaskan Malamute
- American Pit Bull Terrier
- Chow chow
- Cane Corso
- Doberman pinscher
- German shepherd
- Great Dane
- Presa Canarios
- Siberian husky
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Hybrid wolf
It doesn’t matter if a dog has the sweetest nature in the world and has never shown a shred of aggression – insurance companies base their premiums on studies showing which breeds are most likely to get into trouble.
There are several outcomes that “select breed” homeowners should be prepared for when shopping for home insurance.
An owner can request coverage only to be refused on the basis of their dog’s breed. This is especially true if the animal has a history of aggression. It’s important to note that even if someone has owner’s coverage in place and then adopts a restricted breed into their family, an insurer might refuse to renew coverage when the renewal date arrives.
An insurance company can offer a policy, but with exclusions. This means that the damage caused by the dog would not be covered. For example, if a dog bites someone or tears up property, the owner’s insurance policy will not cover the loss. But if lightning sets their roof on fire or a thief steals the family’s silverware, the loss would be covered, just like any home insurance policy. The exclusion would only apply to losses due to the dog.
When an insurance company increases a rate, it is to compensate for the additional risks it takes by providing coverage. Because some breeds are known to bite or become aggressive, insurers increase premiums in hopes of avoiding losses. If one of the high-risk dog breeds is part of the family, an owner can count on higher premiums.
What to do if an insurance company denies coverage
There are a number of costly insurance mistakes a homeowner can make, including not having adequate coverage. Fortunately, when a business turns them down, owners have other options available.
The rules vary depending on the insurance company. Homeowners without business coverage should shop around and hopefully land on a more lenient insurer. The following insurance companies have a reputation for being dog friendly, which means they are less likely to decline coverage because of a dog’s breed:
- Firefighters Fund
- Mutual Freedom
- Massachusetts Fair Map
- At national scale
- State farm
- United States
Do a DNA test
If an owner is not entirely sure about a dog’s breed, at-home DNA testing is available. There are many brands of DNA testing, with prices starting around $ 60. If it turns out that a dog is not of a high risk breed, the owner should notify the insurance company and provide DNA evidence.
Buy a special blanket
Suppose a homeowner ultimately cannot purchase property insurance to cover a pet, or is worried that the amount of home insurance policy coverage is insufficient. In that case, it’s time to take a look at a dog liability insurance policy.
Dog liability insurance covers renters and owners when a dog damages their home by scratching, chewing, and biting. It protects an owner from legal repercussions if a dog bites someone. Like most homeowner coverage, it does not cover injuries sustained by the owner or members of their household.
Policies start at as low as $ 10 per month, depending on the amount of coverage and the deductible chosen by the owner. But, as with any insurance policy, it’s best to shop around.
As any dog lover will tell you, there is nothing more special than a canine friend. That said, there is nothing cheap about owning a pet, especially if it is of a restricted breed. Making sure there is home insurance can protect a homeowner from loss and keep money in their bank account.