Which dog breeds will homeowners insurance not cover?

The most commonly excluded dog breeds are rottweilers, pit bulls, German shepherds, chow chows, and many wolf breeds.

Stephanie Nieves author photoKara McGinley

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Stephanie Nieves

Stephanie Nieves

Editor & Home and Auto Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves is a former editor and insurance expert at Policygenius, where she covered home and auto insurance. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Money, HerMoney, PayScale, and The Muse.

&Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

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By

Fabio Faschi, PLCS, SBCS, CLCS

Fabio Faschi, PLCS, SBCS, CLCS

Licensed Property & Casualty Insurance Expert

Fabio Faschi is a licensed property and casualty insurance agent. His expertise on home and auto insurance has been featured on Forbes, Consumer Affairs, Realtor.com, Apartment Therapy, SFGATE, Bankrate, and Lifehacker.

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The personal liability section of your homeowners insurance policy covers legal and medical expenses if your dog bites a guest or damages their personal belongings while at your home. However, some insurance companies won’t cover larger breeds or those that have a reputation for being dangerous since the risk of injury is higher.

If your insurance company won’t cover your dog, shop around and compare coverage with multiple companies. Several insurers offered by Policygenius — including AIG, Chubb, Hippo, and Encompass— accept even the most dangerous dog breeds. You also have the option of pet liability insurance, which is a specialized policy that covers injury or damage caused by any kind of dog.

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Which dog breeds will homeowners insurance not cover?

Certain dog breeds are categorized as “dangerous” because they’re responsible for a high number of dog bite claims. To minimize the chances of having to pay out expensive liability claims, some insurance companies exclude certain breeds from coverage. Your insurer may also raise your premium if you own a certain breed or refuse to cover your home altogether.

12 dog breeds excluded from homeowners insurance:

These are the most commonly excluded dog breeds according to Policygenius insurance experts:

  • Akitas

  • Alaskan Malamutes

  • Any wolf breeds

  • Chow chows

  • Doberman pinschers

  • German shepherds

  • Great Danes

  • Pit bulls

  • Presa Canarios

  • Rottweilers

  • Siberian huskies

  • Staffordshire terriers

In general, muscular dogs with thick chests are most commonly excluded from coverage, as are wolf breeds. If your dog is excluded from coverage, look for a dog-friendly home insurance company— some insurers will cover dogs of any breed provided they don't have a history of biting. You can also consider supplemental liability protection.

Certain states are banning breed discrimination

Thanks to dog advocate groups, some states are passing legislation to ban insurers from discriminating against certain dog breeds. So far, Illinois, Nevada, and New York have all passed such legislation. 

When are dogs never covered by homeowners insurance?

Along with breed restrictions, some insurers also won’t cover dogs with a history of biting or damaging property.

History of biting

If your pup has a history of biting, it may be excluded from your policy or you may need to sign a liability waiver for dog bites. This means your insurer won’t cover any medical or legal bills that ensue from your dog biting someone on your property. In some cases, you may be denied a homeowners insurance policy altogether.

Damage to your home, other structures, or personal property

If your dog causes damage to your home or personal belongings, the loss may not be covered by your homeowners insurance. That means if your dog chews through your drywall or a piece of furniture, you may not be reimbursed for the damage.

If your dog bites or injures you

Personal liability coverage only covers injury to someone else, not you. That means if your dog bites you and you need to go to the hospital, you wouldn’t be able to file a homeowners insurance claim. 

8 dog-friendly insurance companies

While the specifics of coverage can vary by state, there are several companies that are known to cover dangerous dog breeds depending on where you live and your claims history. This includes:

Should I get pet liability insurance?

Pet liability insurance is a specialized policy that covers all dog breeds for most kinds of injuries or damage. Pet liability insurance also covers your dog’s care, including physical exams and vaccinations. You may be able to add it as an endorsement on your current home insurance policy or purchase it as a separate policy. Pet liability insurance is a good option if you can’t find an insurance company to include your dog in coverage.

Authors

Editor & Home and Auto Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves

Editor & Home and Auto Insurance Expert

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Stephanie Nieves is a former editor and insurance expert at Policygenius, where she covered home and auto insurance. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Money, HerMoney, PayScale, and The Muse.

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

gray linkedin icon link

Kara McGinley is a senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

Expert reviewer

Licensed Property & Casualty Insurance Expert

Fabio Faschi, PLCS, SBCS, CLCS

Licensed Property & Casualty Insurance Expert

gray linkedin icon link

Fabio Faschi is a licensed property and casualty insurance agent. His expertise on home and auto insurance has been featured on Forbes, Consumer Affairs, Realtor.com, Apartment Therapy, SFGATE, Bankrate, and Lifehacker.

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