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Top 10 Dogs Breeds Restricted By Homeowners Insurance Policies

Insurance premiums are based on market risk. Statistics are the empirical sovereign of these decisions. Hence, many factors are going to come into consideration when it comes to determining your homeowner’s insurance policy premium. Believe it or not, dog breeds are a finite factor. Be prepared with this information when shopping for insurance or for a dog.

How can dog damage be your liability? How does this concern insurance companies?

  • The primary liability debacle that many people do not realize is if their dog gets out of its area and causes injury to person or property, the dog owner is responsible. Hence, if Fido gets hit by a car (and even if Fido is fatally wounded) and the car that hit him sustains damage, the dog owner is fiscally responsible for the car repair.
  • The only dog that never bites is a dead dog. You’ve heard that before, and it’s true. Even a bite inflicted by a Chihuahua can cause physical damage! The dog owner is responsible for their pet’s aggression.
  • In rental properties, dogs can damage the yard by digging, tearing up fences, chewing holes in walls…you get the picture. 
  • In rare cases, litigation has been brought against dog owners when their pet has tripped a person and caused injury or even in cases of the dog injuring or killing neighboring livestock.

In many cases, homeowners’ or liability insurance will not pay for repairs unless there is adjudication that remands it, i.e. the dog has killed neighbor’s livestock. However, the primary damages that are of concern to insurance companies are those that involve dog attacks on humans, or intended or unintended negligence if Rover has roved in front of Mrs. Motorist’s BMW and causes damage when the car hits the animal. 

Canine Breeds That Raise the Eyebrow of the Insurance Provider

By now, you are probably curious about the most common dog breeds that raise the eyebrow of the insurance provider. (This list is not all-inclusive and there may be companies who do allow these breeds. It is just a general guideline.) 

Top 10 Dog Breeds Restricted by Insurers:

  • Pit Bull: Banned in over 100% of insurance providers’ lists
  • Rottweiler: Also banned in over 100% of insurance providers’ lists
  • Akita
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Wolf Hybrid
  • Chow Chow
  • Presa Canario
  • Mastiff
  • German Shepherd
  • Alaskan Malamute

Following are some additional breeds some insurance companies also refute:

  • Siberian Husky
  • Great Dane
  • Staffordshire Terrier
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • American Bulldog
  • Boxer

Keep in mind that owning a dog from these lists does not necessarily keep you from obtaining liability coverage as a homeowner or renter, but it will contain clauses that keep the insurance company immune should the dog attack or cause damage. Therefore, it will be your “nickel” that must remedy the damage. 

Finally, Be a Savvy Insurance Shopper

When shopping for homeowners insurance, the homeowner or lessee should always ask the insurance company if they have restrictions on dog breeds regarding their pet coverage. Conversely always consider these factors when you are thinking about adopting or purchasing a dog.

Updated on April 10, 2020

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