How Your New Pup Could Effect Your Homeowner’s Insurance

German shepherd puppy

Your new puppy is adorable but he may end up increasing your premiums.
(Photo credit by Unomano)

Can you be denied homeowners insurance coverage because of your dog?

Absolutely, and you definitely do not want to lie about having one.

If you’re an avid animal lover you know that animals can be unpredictable. If you’re thinking about getting a pet, that’s something you should know before you commit. No matter how long you’ve had your pet, how cute they are or sweet they are with you, you can never control 100% for their actions. For example, if your neighbor stops by and your dog bites them, your neighbor can sue you. On the one hand, your homeowners insurance should cover that. On the other, if you didn’t tell your homeowners insurance agent about the dog, they may deny the claim. In fact, depending on the breed of dog, they may not give you coverage at all. It’s important to note that this applies to all pets, not just dogs, but dogs are considered the riskiest pet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million people suffer dog bites each year, with ~ 900,000 requiring medical treatment.
Forbes magazine recently put together a list of the “11 riskiest dog breeds for homeowners insurance” and here they are:

  1. Pit Bulls & Staffordshire Terriers
  2. Doberman Pinschers
  3. Rottweilers
  4. German Shepherds
  5. Chows
  6. Great Danes
  7. Presa Canarios
  8. Akitas
  9. Alaskan Malamutes
  10. Siberian Huskies
  11. Wolf-hybrids

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t get these breeds, or that they are inherently ‘dangerous’. But before you purchase your new best friend, call your local insurance agent to see if that breed would be covered and how your homeowner’s policy would be affected.