If 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:
- Alaskan Malamute
- Chow Chow
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
- Pit Bull
- Presa Canario
- 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.