When shopping around for a homeowners insurance policy, it’s important to consider how your pet might make the search a little more challenging. Dogs are the most popular household pet in the United States, occupying approximately 50 million homes across the country. It’s estimated that 4.5 - 4.7 million people are bitten by a dog each year in the US. Those numbers and the potential liabilities they imply give most New York insurance agents pause when assessing your home for a policy.
As much as we love our canine friends, it’s a possibility that they can bite humans in certain situations. While we never want to think that our dogs could harm others, it’s important to consider these statistics when talking about homeowner’s insurance and the protection it can provide when a bite or other damages might occur.
Insurance companies often cover you in the event your dog causes harm to another person or their personal belongings while on your property. But there are some important caveats to be aware of, so let’s break it down and take a closer look.
Which Breeds of Dogs Make Insurers Hesitant?
The list below names some dog breeds that many insurance companies consider risky.
- Alaskan Malamute
- Chow Chow
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
- Pit Bull
- Siberian Husky
- Wolf Hybrid
Some insurance companies consider these breeds to be too much of a liability and will not insure you. However, not all companies are so discriminatory and you can find some that look more at the dog’s history of biting to determine what kind of coverage you can have. For instance, if your dog is on the “bad dog” list and has no history of biting, you can get a policy that offers liability coverage in the event of an incident. Some companies even allow a ding on the animal’s bite record and still offer you a plan, although perhaps at a slightly higher premium.
When You’re Covered and When You’re Not
When you find an insurance provider for your home, it’s important to know the distinctions between what they could or could not cover in terms of pet-related damages. For instance, let’s say that you have someone over and your dog unexpectedly nips their hand when they go in to pet them. If your insurer offers bodily injury liability for pet damages, medical costs this bite incurs could be covered up to $100,000, which is the amount most companies provide at a minimum in coverage. This also applies to other people’s personal property, such as a chewed up neighbor’s fence or scratched up tablet.
It’s important to note that if your pet damages you / a member of your household or your own property, your homeowners insurance policy would not cover any expenses.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Even if you don’t own a pet, you may still want to consider getting some form of animal liability insurance. Although unlikely, animals you don’t own could enter your property and attack a third party, in which case you could be held liable for damages. Instead of worrying about the postman suing you because a stray attacked them while dropping off your mail, it might be best to make sure animal liability insurance is included in your homeowners policy..
Dogs have long been considered man’s best friend. And even though some of these insurance stipulations may make dog mom or dad life a little more complicated, the search for the right plan is worth it. You can’t put a premium on love and friendship when it comes to your dog.