It’s a sad, but true, fact of life that having a dog can actually raise your homeowner’s insurance premiums. Obviously, they have to consider all the possibilities – like, what if your dog bites someone?
It can and does happen, and it’s often the insurance company’s responsibility to pay for the injured party’s medical bills.
Regardless of whether or not your dog would ever harm anyone, they’re not just going to take your word for it. Nor are they taking chances – that’s why owning a dog is considered a liability.
Depending on where you live and what sort of dog you have, this can significantly impact how much you pay. In some cases, you might not even be able to obtain coverage.
Some companies actually even blacklist certain breeds they consider to be “dangerous.” Though there’s no scientific evidence that specific breeds are worse than others, there’s plenty of data based on correlations and statistics.
It’s unfair, it’s stereotyping, and it’s unfortunate – but that’s just how it is. In fact, the Insurance Information Institute even estimates that dog bites account for more than one-third of liability claims. These incidents cost the insurance companies hundreds of millions of dollars, with the average dog bite claim being around $30,000. (Forbes, however, reported in 2018 that the average cost of a hospital stay related to a dog bite is around $18,200.)
Paying Increased Premiums
So, which dogs are most likely to be on the insurance companies’ lists? Here’s a rundown of which breeds might be the most likely to affect your premiums.
(Note: In Michigan and Pennsylvania, it is illegal to deny a homeowner coverage based on the breed of their dog(s). Additionally, all insurance companies are different, and their policies vary. Some may require a waiver of liability coverage for dog bites, others do not discriminate by breed at all.)