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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joshua is a copywriter at Obrella who for more than 10 years has been creating content about insurance, health care, and more. He helps companies explain complex insurance subjects in simple ways so that customers can make smart buying decisions. He spends way too much time binge-watching Netflix, loves the outdoors and has a cat who tolerates him.

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Reviewed by Joshua Adamson
Joshua Adamson

UPDATED: Mar 28, 2016

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10 Dog Breeds that Could Raise Your Home Insurance Rate

dogs affect home insurance rates

Nearly half of Americans, or 40%, own at least one dog. If you don’t own a furry friend, you can likely identify 10 people in your life that do. Man’s best friend has become a prominent part of the American family.

Whether you are a dog lover or you’d prefer not to be around dogs at all, the fact remains that about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. If you own a dog, you should be well aware of the liabilities that come with dog ownership and make an effort to be a responsible dog owner. Even if your dog is a big teddy bear, you may find that you run into complications with getting home insurance; especially if you own a dog that is considered to be a dangerous breed.

How do Dogs Affect Home Insurance Rates?

An insurance company’s primary objective is to assess risk. An insurance company needs to know how risky you are to insure. Owning a dog, especially a dangerous dog, makes you riskier to insure than someone that does not own a dog simply because of the liability pay out that the insurance company will have to fork over if your dog bites someone. When your dog bites someone, you are liable for the damage. When you are liable for damage, your insurance company will pay for the cost of the damage up to your liability limit.

What are Your Options as a Dog Owner?

After you find out that your four legged friend is considered a dangerous breed, what’s next? It is important, and often times necessary, that you have home insurance but you can be in a difficult position if you are denied coverage because of your dog. If you are denied coverage because of your dog, you will want to shop for an insurance company that does not consider the breed of your dog when determining if you quality for home insurance coverage. You may also find some insurance companies will insure you, but require you to sign a liability waiver for your dog.

If you live in Pennsylvania or Michigan, you can shop for insurance with any provider. These two states have passed legislation that does not allow insurance companies to consider the breed of the dog when determining eligibility for home insurance.

How are Dangerous Breeds Determined?

The criteria by which dogs are ranked differs between insurance companies. Although there is no set rule, there seems to be some breeds that end up on the list of dangerous dogs consistently.

If you are a dog owner, or you are shopping for a dog, you should be aware of which dogs are most commonly classified as dangerous.

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Regardless of what type of dog you own, it is important to socialize and train your dog well. Many dog bites are the result of poor training. Regardless of the reason behind the bite, insurance companies are the ones paying out when the liability claim is made.

If you don’t own a dog, learn how to interact with dogs safely and teach your children to do the same. As everyone works to make human and dog interactions safer, hopefully we will see a decrease in the number of dog bites that occur each year.


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