Homeowners Insurance: Dog Eligibility List


Is your dog covered?

Here at Hooper Insurance we ourselves are animal lovers. Whether it be a dog, cat, snake, gerbil, or cow we have had at least one over the years. As much as we love animals there are some that present a higher liability risk then others. This is why most insurance companies have a list of dog breeds that they will NOT write or extend coverage to from your homeowners policy. This means if you own a dog breed on the ineligible list the company will cancel or setup your policy for non-renewal. We understand how much a family pet can mean and that’s why we offer numerous companies with different animal eligibility guidelines. We even have two companies that will write ANY dog breed!

According to the Insurance Journal, “Dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one third of all homeowners liability claim dollars paid out in 2017, costing almost $700 million.“ This is why every insurance company has a list of dog breeds that are ineligible for coverage under their policy. If one of those dog breeds are owned then the company will setup your policy to be cancelled or non-renewed. Failure to disclose an excluded dog breed could result in a claim denial. This means if the dog bits or injures someone you would be solely responsible for any medical bills or lawsuits that may arise.

The national average for a dog bite claim in 2017 grew to $37,051 from 2016 when it was $33,230. Please be aware that claims are not brought forth by just a dog’s bite. Whether your dog is a large Great Dane or a small Chihuahua they present a tripping hazard. This is why it is always best to have your dog leashed and under control. Under control means your dog should never be allowed to jump up on people. This could cause scratches or the person being knocked on to the ground.

THE LIST, which dog breeds are on them? Though each company might be slightly different it’s best to be upfront with your company/agent and ask if your dog is eligible. However, you can go ahead and guarantee that if you own a Pit Bull or a Rottweiler they are on the ineligible list. Why you ask? “In the 13-year period of 2005 through 2017 canines killed 433 Americans. Pit Bulls contributed to 66% (284) of these deaths. Combined, Pit Bulls and Rottweilers contributed to 76% of the total recorded deaths.These breeds are also commonly listed: Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Staffordshire Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Chows, Great Danes, Presa Canarios, Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Wolf-hybrids, Or a mix of any of the above. Please remember that these breeds may not be the only ones listed on your company’s list, always check with your agent/company. In some cases, dogs can be excluded from coverage (this is solely up to the company). Most of the time a dog is only excluded if it falls into a special circumstance such as a police dog, service dog, or there has been specialized obedient training in which a certificate is provided.

Overall, if you are looking to rescue or purchase an animal please do take into consideration your insurance company’s guidelines before acquiring the dog. It’s best practice to be upfront and find out before an incident happens. We hope this helps you better understand insurance company’s dog eligibility guidelines. If you have any questions, or would like a quote, please give our office a call at 423-472-1744.

Additional Source: https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2018/04/06/485542.htm