Purchasing Homeowners Insurance as a Dog Owner
Did you know that there are an estimated 90 million pet dogs in America? That’s more dogs than houses! While your best friend undoubtedly brings a lot of joy, canine companions also can terrify insurance carriers because of one coverage: personal liability. The MSPCA approximates that over 4.7 million dog bites occur every year with over 800,000 requiring medical treatment. In 2018 alone, insurance companies paid $675 million in liability claims for dog-related injuries.
Considering these staggering statistics, there are some things you should be aware of before purchasing homeowner’s insurance as a dog owner.
The Breed Matters
We all know bad owners make bad dogs, but carriers don't have a rating factor for bad pet owners. They do have one for breed of dog. Breeds like Pitbulls, German Shepherds, and Huskies are considered high risk by insurance companies and can result in you paying higher premiums or even being denied for coverage. See our full list of breeds insurance companies deem dangerous or risky.
Read the Fine Print
Carefully examine the fine print details of your policy before signing. Certain insurance carriers will ask you to sign a liability waiver or add conditions to your liability coverage. For example, your coverage might predicate on your dog attending regular behavioral classes or being muzzled/restrained when guests are over or you are on a walk.
Do All Insurance Companies Discriminate Against Breeds?
While most insurance companies still consider certain dog breeds as high risk for loss, there are some carriers that are beginning to move away from blacklisting breeds. Examples of such companies include:
- State Farm
- Liberty Mutual
Many of these companies will approve coverage for high-risk breed owners by conducting a meet and greet to verify the dog’s temperament. Completing training courses with your dog such as the Canine Good Citizen program is another way to prove to your insurance carrier that your dog is well behaved and low risk. You can also buy a separate Canine Liability policy with Kingstone Insurance for specific coverage.
Make Sure You’re Fully Covered
The average cost for a dog-related claim last year was ~$38,000. The data shows that these costs are drastically climbing, as they have doubled since 2003. To be safe you should have a minimum of $100,000 in liability coverage. $300,000 is preferred.
Perhaps the best insurance is proper training to ensure your dog never harms anyone. At the end of the day, it keeps your pup and others safe, and further safeguards you from a financial disaster.
A dog is the only animal on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
At your service,