As the nation of dog lovers that we are, we cherish our furry friends as integral parts of our family. But did you know that the breed of your beloved canine could significantly impact your home insurance policy? Some insurance companies may hike up your rates, limit your coverage, or even outright exclude certain breeds from your policy. This could lead to the daunting possibility of you footing the entire bill for injuries or legal costs if your dog happens to bite someone.
A Deep Dive into the Financial Bite
According to the Insurance Information Institute, a dog bite claim costs an average of $49,025. Insurance companies closely monitor liability claims for dogs, and certain breeds are more common than others. Unraveling the mystery of which breeds home insurance companies consider “prohibited” can help you choose the right insurance company, especially if you own a dog from one of these controversial breeds.
The Unwanted Dozen: Most Banned Breeds
Home insurance providers often veil the specifics of their banned breeds, complicating the choice of company for homeowners. Our analysis of over 40 home insurance companies nationwide unveiled the 12 breeds most often shunned:
- Doberman Pinscher
- Pit bull
- Chow Chow
- Wolf dogs and hybrids
- Presa Canario (canary dog)
- German Shepherd
- Alaskan Malamute
Interestingly, the term ‘pit bull’ is a blanket term for several Bull Terrier breeds and mixes, including American Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers, and Staffordshire Bull Terriers.
Insurance Companies Treat Certain Breeds Like Pariahs
So, why do insurance companies treat certain breeds like pariahs? The crux of the matter is risk exposure. In 2021 alone, 17,989 dog bite liability claims were filed, leading to a whopping payout of over $882 million by home insurance carriers. Certain breeds are linked with a higher number of dog bite claims, and companies aim to avoid the cost of such claims. According to professional dog trainer Elissa Weimer-Sentner, this discrimination is akin to an insurer demanding a self-latching gate for swimming pool owners – it’s all about risk mitigation.
However, the one-size-fits-all breed bans disregard the individual temperament and history of dogs, potentially excluding well-trained dogs used for assistance, search and rescue, or therapy.
Continue reading on the next page to discover impact of your dog’s breed on home insurance.