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- Some home insurance policies exclude certain breeds of dogs, especially large dogs.
- Pit bulls, rottweilers, and chow chow dogs top the list of restricted dog breeds.
- If you have a restricted breed, consider an umbrella policy or dog liability insurance.
- Check out insider tips for the best home insurance.
Approximately 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs annually, and the average cost of a dog bite claim is $ 44,760, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Household contents insurance usually covers dog bites as part of personal liability insurance. However, large dogs and certain breeds are excluded from coverage.
If you have a restricted breed of dog, be sure to let your agent know and see if an optional umbrella policy will cover your dog. Otherwise, you will need to take out dog liability insurance.
Top 10 dog breeds that are excluded from home insurance
Some insurance companies exclude large dogs and certain breeds such as pit bulls from liability insurance. Dogs known to be aggressive, trained attack dogs, uncastrated male dogs, and dogs with a history of bites are typically excluded, according to American Family Insurance.
Everquote surveyed insurance companies and found that these are the 10 most common breeds most likely to be excluded from insurance policies:
- Pit bull
- Chow chow
- Presa Canario
- Doberman pinscher
- Wolf hybrids
- Great Dane
- German shepherd dog
A restricted breed of dog can increase your premiums
A restricted breed of dog can increase home insurance premiums. This is especially true if you have had a dog bite or liability claim that has led to a legal dispute.
Some carriers even drop customers if their pet bites or injures someone. Some states have strict dog bite liability laws. This means that even if your dog has been provoked, you are liable. In the event of a legal dispute, you will be liable for any damage.
An umbrella policy can provide coverage if you have a restricted breed of dog
American Family advises that even if you have a restricted breed of dog, you may still be able to get coverage through umbrella insurance. An umbrella policy is an additional liability insurance that is available as an addition to your household or tenant insurance.
The costs vary depending on the insurance provider and are based on the additional coverage you have chosen. Your premium can be more expensive than someone who does not have an excluded breed or large dog.
Dog liability insurance is also an option if you have a restricted breed
Dog liability insurance provides protection if your dog bites or attacks someone. It’s another option if you have a restricted breed of dog and can’t get an umbrella policy. It’s a separate policy that is helpful if your homeowner or renter insurance doesn’t cover your breed.
The cost will vary based on the breed of your dog, size, location, and whether your dog has bitten or attacked someone in the past. Other price factors are whether your dog is properly vaccinated and whether your dog has previously been classified as a “dangerous dog” by the animal inspection authorities.
It’s not very common, but the following companies offer dog liability insurance:
- X insurance
- Dean of Insurance
- Unicorn insurance
- Evolution insurance broker
If you have a restricted breed, be sure to shop online and get comparisons of offers. Be sure to let the insurance company know that you have a restricted breed and see if an umbrella policy offers coverage. If not, you will need to get dog liability insurance.
Ronda Lee is Associate Editor, Insurance for Personal Finance Insider, covering life, auto, homeowner and renter insurance for consumers. She is also a licensed attorney and practiced litigation and insurance defense.