Q

Which dog breeds will homeowners insurance not cover?

A

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

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Stephanie Nieves

Stephanie Nieves

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves is an insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City, specializing in home and auto insurance. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, PayScale, Fairygodboss, and The Muse.

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Fabio Faschi, PLCS, SBCS, CLCS

Fabio Faschi, PLCS, SBCS, CLCS

Property & Casualty Insurance Expert

Fabio Faschi is a former property and casualty team lead at Policygenius in New York City. He's worked in the insurance and real estate industry for more than six years as an independent agent and broker representing more than 40 carriers in property and casualty products, and previously worked in real estate settlements and title insurance negotiating insurance requirements with banks, realtors, and new home buyers. Fabio's expertise on home & auto insurance has been featured on Forbes, Consumer Affairs, Realtor.com, Apartment Therapy, The Simple Dollar, SFGATE, Bankrate, and Lifehacker.

Published September 2, 2020|3 min read

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The liability provision of homeowners insurance covers your legal expenses in the event you’re held liable for someone else’s injury or damage to their property. Personal liability coverage also extends to your dog if it were to bite a guest or chew through their personal belongings. 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.

The most commonly excluded breeds are Rottweilers, pit bulls, German shepherds, Staffordshire terriers, Dobermans pinschers, Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, and Siberian huskies are Molassers (thick chested, muscular dogs) and certain wolf breeds are also frequently excluded.

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, Encompass, and others — 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.

Key Takeaways

  • The liability portion of homeowners insurance covers injuries and damage caused by dogs, but certain breeds are excluded from coverage

  • Rottweilers, Pit bulls, German Shepherds, and certain types of wolf breeds are commonly excluded from coverage

  • If your insurer won’t cover your dog, shop around and compare multiple insurance companies. Some companies accept all dog breeds

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 may exclude certain breeds from coverage. Your insurer may also raise your premium if you own a certain breed or they may refuse to cover your home altogether.

Even if your pup isn’t particularly dangerous, it may still be excluded from coverage if it’s one of the following breeds:

  • Staffordshire terriers

  • Doberman pinschers

  • Chow chows

  • Akitas

  • Alaskan Malamutes

  • Siberian huskies

  • Pit bulls

  • Great Danes

  • Rottweilers

  • Presa Canarios

  • German Shepherds

  • Any wolf breeds

In general, Molassers (or 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 company— some insurance comapanies will cover dogs of any breed provided they don't have a history of biting. You can also consider supplemental liability protection.

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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 or you may need to sign a waiver every time your dog bites someone. 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.

What to do if your dog isn’t covered

If your pup’s breed is banned from coverage with your current company, worry not, there are several companies out there that accept all dog breeds.

Insurance companies that may not discriminate dog breeds

While the specifics of coverage can vary from state to state, there are several companies that are known to cover dangerous dog breeds depending on the location and claims history of the insured, including:

Supplemental liability insurance

You can also shop around for pet liability insurance which is a specialized policy that covers all dog breeds for most kinds of damage. Pet liability insurance also covers your dog’s wellcare, including physical exams and vaccinations.

At Policygenius, you can also speak with a licensed representative who can make coverage recommendations for homeowners with specific dog breeds.

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