Home insurance is essential for protecting your possessions and protecting you against liability claims, but finding the right coverage isn’t always easy. Those who own certain types of dogs may face home insurance dog breed restrictions that prevent them from obtaining coverage from certain companies. If you’re concerned about this issue, read on to find out which dog breeds are often excluded and how to find cover if you have one.
What breeds of dogs are excluded from home insurance?
Breed restrictions on owner insurance dogs generally include breeds that insurers consider “dangerous.” This tag is often applied to breeds that are responsible for a significant number of dog bite claims.
There are a number of ways that companies can impose dog breed restrictions on home insurance, including:
- Limited Liability Coverage for Dog Bites. The insurer can cap the maximum amount it pays for a dog bite home insurance claim.
- Increase in premiums. An increased risk of a dog bite claim means an increased risk of paying for an insurer. To guard against this, they can charge the owner extra.
- Does not cover dog bite claims. They can still cover other types of home insurance claims, but do not provide any coverage for dog bites.
- Refuse coverage altogether. Some insurers do not insure owners who have a dog on their list of restricted breeds.
Most Common Insurance Dog Breed Restrictions For Owners
Each company has its own list of home insurance dog breed restrictions, but the following breeds are typically listed:
- Chow chows
- Doberman pinscher
- german shepherds
- Pit bulls (American Pit Bull Terriers and related breeds)
- Presa canarios (canary dogs)
- Staffordshire Terrier
- Wolf hybrids
What to do if your dog is on a restricted breed list
If the insurance company excludes the dog from coverage, the owner may still be able to get a policy. But it is risky. If the dog bites someone, the owner must pay all medical and legal costs out of pocket.
People who have dogs on the home insurance dog breed restriction list above may have a harder time finding a home insurance company willing to cover them. Fortunately, there are other ways for these homeowners to get the liability coverage they need. They can:
- Compare the prices. Each insurance company has their own list of restricted breeds, so an owner can find home insurance with dog bite claim coverage from another company. Check out our guide to buying home insurance for what else to look for when purchasing a policy.
- Take out additional insurance. Owners can purchase a separate dog bite liability insurance policy to help cover costs if their dog bites someone. Because these policies are specifically designed for dog bites, there are no restricted breeds. However, this type of insurance is generally only available through specialist insurers.
Home insurance companies with no dog breed restrictions
Those who prefer to stick with unrestricted dog breed home insurance should take a closer look at the following companies:
- american family
- State farm
- United States
However, just because these home insurance companies have no dog breed restrictions does not mean that they will cover all dogs. Many will not cover dogs with a history of biting, and some require further investigation to determine if they will cover the dog in question.
When is your dog covered by home insurance?
Generally, if your dog is not on your home insurance dog breed restriction list, it is covered by your policy. If you are not sure what is covered and what is not, it is best to call the insurer to clarify before purchasing a policy.
Are dog bites covered by home insurance?
Typically, a dog bite is covered by home insurance if the insurer knew the owner had the dog and it is not on the company’s restricted breed list or other exclusion.
If this is of concern to you, carefully review the policy terms and contact the insurer with any questions.
When is your dog not covered by home insurance?
A dog is not covered by a home insurance policy if that policy specifically excludes it or lists the breed among its home insurance dog breed restrictions.
Dog bites may also not be covered if the owner did not notify their insurer when they got the dog, even if they are not on the insurer’s shortlist. If the insurer does not know the dog exists, they can claim that the owner made a false statement and refuse to pay. Always let your insurer know when buying a new dog, unless it is expressly excluded from coverage.