Is your dog covered by your insurance policy?

Dogs at home laying in bed

Roughly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. In 2022 alone there were 17,597 dog-related injury claims in the U.S., totaling 1.13 billion dollars.

These statistics go to show that while your dog may be lovable and docile to you, animal behavior is unpredictable in an unfamiliar situation, and it could end up costing you.

Picture this, you just adopted a young husky at your local shelter and things have been going great. One day when going to take your dog for a walk, your dog gets loose from you and jumps on someone walking by, knocking the person to the ground. The person ends up breaking their wrist in the process and you later find out they are suing you for medical costs. You reach out to your insurance company but they deny your claim to help cover any of the costs.

So what’s next? Well, if you have homeowner’s insurance, you might be thinking that your insurance company covers costs related to your dog injuring someone or destroying someone else’s property. And while that’s usually the case, there are instances when homeowners insurance does not cover the costs.

Your homeowners insurance policy typically covers injuries that your dog imposes on others, but it does not cover your own property or family, or even you. In other words, homeowners insurance usually will not cover any costs if your dog injures you or another person living in your home.

Homeowners insurance also won’t cover the costs if your dog damages your home or personal property. For example, if your dog chews up your new expensive shoes or even tears up all your carpet, your homeowners insurance will not reimburse you for damages. Homeowners insurance also won’t cover injuries your dog endures in the process of the damages.

But that’s not all, most home insurance companies will refuse to provide coverage for dog breeds they deem as risky to insure. These are the top dog breeds that are most often excluded from home insurance:

  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Pitbull (Bull Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Bull Terriers and American Staffordshire Terriers, or any combination of these breeds)
  • Rottweiler
  • Chow Chow
  • Presa Canario
  • Akita
  • German Shepherd
  • Husky and Alaskan Malamute
  • Mastiff

Other dogs that are usually banned from insurance companies include mixed breeds of any of the breeds listed above, guard dogs, dogs with any prior incident of biting another person or animal, and any dog that shows a vicious or aggressive temperament as observed by an insurance company employee.

So how do you protect yourself from financial liabilities if an incident does occur? You start by researching the right insurance for you and your pet.

For example, if you have one of the dog breeds listed above, you might want to consider getting insurance through Hippo, State Farm, or USAA. These insurance companies are the very few that do not discriminate based on dog breed.

Another option is to get pet liability insurance. This provides extra coverage for you and your family in the event that your pet injures someone in the home or your property. Pet liability insurance is relatively cheap for the coverage it provides as well, liability policies can be as inexpensive as $10 per month and provide $10,000 to $30,000 worth of extra coverage.

We hope you keep this information in mind whether you’re thinking about adding another furry family member to the pack, or just wanting some extra protection for you and your pet. And when in doubt, you can always get on the phone with your insurance provider and discuss in detail the best options for you.

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