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Do Your Own A Dog – Think Liability

By August 26, 2014May 21st, 2020Insurance


If you own a dog, companies offering homeowner’s insurance may charge you a higher rate, exclude your dog from liability coverage or turn you down completely based on your dog’s breed, history of claims or the dog bite history or all of the above.

Most companies will have a strict guideline to not write a policy for homeowners with certain breeds of dogs.  

Why? According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites account for one-third of  all homeowners insurance liability claim dollars paid out in 2013, costing more than $483 million. The average cost paid out for dog bite claims nationwide was $27,862 in 2013. 

Here is a list of the most common dog breeds that are seen as high-risk to many homeowners insurance companies:

  • Pit bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • Chows
  • German shepherds
  • Siberian huskies
  • Alaskan malamutes
  • Doberman pinschers
  • Presa Canario bulldogs
  • Great Danes
  • Boxers
  • Akitas
  • Wolf-hybrids

If your dog bites someone, respond to the incident promptly. Restrain or confine your dog immediately. Then do whatever you can to help the victim, whether that means calling 911 or driving them to the emergency room. 

Once the victim is taken care of, it may need to contact the local authorities to report the dog bite. Call your homeowners insurance company, especially if there are medical costs involved. Be sure to cooperate with your insurance company. The claims adjuster will want to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

You should take steps to make sure a similar incident doesn’t happen in the future. That might mean building a fence around your yard or sending your dog to obedience school. Your may also want to consider a certified animal trainer if all else fails.