Dangerous Dog Breeds And Your Insurance

by Hank Coleman

Rottweiler is a dangerous dog breedIf you have applied for a homeowner’s insurance policy in the last ten years, you may have been surprised when the insurance agent asked you if you have any pets. Specifically, they are looking to see if you have any dog breeds that the insurance company deems to be dangerous. In fact, many insurance companies limit coverage to dog owners, and may deny coverage all together to owners with certain breeds.

Why Insurers Hate Dangerous Dog Breeds

While many consider insurance companies refusing to insure individuals with certain breeds, the fact is that insurance companies have been on the hook for too many lawsuits resulting in damages from these certain breeds. When you get a homeowner’s insurance policy, you also get a personal liability policy that covers the homeowner for a certain amount.  If the homeowner’s dog were to bite someone and cause damage, the victim could sue and the homeowner and their insurance policy would be liable for the damages.  As a result, insurance companies are carefully looking at which breeds pose the most risk, and limiting the insurance provided to homeowners with those breeds.

Dangerous Dog Breeds Impacted

Here are some of the common dog breeds that insurance companies worry about:

  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Pit Bull
  • Presa Canario
  • Rottweiler
  • Siberian Husky
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Wolf Hybrid

What You Can Do

If you have one of these types of dogs, it is essential that you disclose it to your insurance company.  If, for some reason, you are liable for something your dog did, and it was not disclosed, your insurance company could consider your policy void. You could then be liable for the entire amount of damage caused and liability. You may also want to ensure that your umbrella insurance is still available as well if you own one of the dangerous dog breeds. An umbrella insurance policy is a great way to protect yourself from being financially devastated should you be sued and found liable for damages.

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There are still insurance companies that provide coverage for these breeds, but you can expect to pay higher premiums as a result. Many states are currently looking to ban the practice of discriminating against customers with certain dog breeds, but as of now, very few states have this type of law in place.  As a result, customers are still forced to shop around for policies that accept them.

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and a graduate certificate in personal financial planning. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 593 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Zack Jones

We recently switched homeowner’s insurance and when I was reviewing the policy I saw that we had animal liability coverage for $50,000. When I told the agent we had a house cat and that we didn’t need it he said that it was part of the policy regardless. So now I have 50,000 worth of liability insurance should Tiger decide to go crazy on a house guest :).

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Jai Catalano

I had a Rottweiler but needed to give him up because he was too much for me.

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