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What Can Owning a Pitbull Do to Homeowners' Insurance?

Most people don’t think about their dogs when purchasing homeowners insurance, but your insurance company may. Certain dog breeds, notably pitbulls, are considered a high-risk liability, and claims of dog bites by certain insurance firms result in high medical costs, settlement amounts, and payouts.

This is often dependent on your homeowners' insurance provider and the agent underwriting your policy -they just might have their own feelings on breeds like pitbulls. Because of the breed’s dangerous and violent reputation and history in recent years, your agent may be unwilling to cover your pitbull for this reason, even though you know how gentle they really are. While this may appear to be a minor issue, in the end, it all boils down to money with them. To put it another way: protecting your property from fire and crime is one thing, but dog bites are another story entirely.

What if You Own an Insurance Blacklisted Dogs?

Unfortunately, insurance companies will assume that your dog will bite someone at some point in time. It’s not a question of “if” but rather “when” with them. The insurance industry has become increasingly burdened by dog bites. The most recent annual claim statistics from the Insurance Information Institute revealed that dog bites and injury-related claims were responsible for more than one-third of all homeowner insurance liability claims paid out in 2014, costing approximately $530 million, with the average claim payment being just under $32,000.

Because actual homeowners insurance costs may be considerably higher, you must make sure your coverage is adequate in the event that something goes wrong. Let’s suppose that your dog attacks someone who is critically wounded or maimed as a result of your negligence, and you are sued for millions. If your homeowners' insurance or renters insurance policy holds $100,000 liability coverage, you could lose your home if you’re sued.

The following dog breeds are labeled as high-risk or uninsurable:

  • Pit bulls
  • Staffordshire terrier
  • Bull terrier
  • Wolf hybrids
  • Akitas
  • Chow-chows
  • Dobermans
  • English bulldogs
  • Rottweilers
  • German shepherds
  • Siberian huskies
  • Alaskan malamutes
  • Presa canarios
  • Great danes
  • Boxers
  • Saint bernards
  • Mastiffs

Although each state has its own set of insurance rules, there are a few commonalities. Some states have more stringent requirements for obtaining coverage than others. The availability of individual health insurance may differ by location and regulation. In California, for example, Farmers Insurance announced it would cease coverage for bites caused by Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and wolf hybrids due to several claims because of the breeds. Your homeowner’s policy is the primary factor, and so is your insurance provider. While most insurance companies will not immediately cancel your homeowners' coverage because you have a pit bull or other dangerous breed, proving that you are a responsible dog owner might help you keep it.

If you’ve previously been bitten by a dog, your insurance may decide not to renew your policy, forcing you to obtain new liability coverage from another provider. The minimum liability coverage that is required as part of your homeowners or renters policy is suggested at $100,000. Even if you decide to keep your dog in a safe enclosure or fence, you should purchase an umbrella policy of $1 million to protect yourself in the event that he bites someone. The typical policy is rather inexpensive, ranging from about $150 to $300 per year. At the same time, you can also look for dog-friendly insurance companies with flexible homeowners' policies.

You don’t need to overlook coverage just to save on your home insurance coverage. Call Insurance Navy today at 888-949-6289 to find good coverage at low rates. You can also get a free quote online via our website and mobile app. Looking for further assistance? Drop-in at one of our many storefront locations.

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