homeowners insurance issues because of a dog???

posted 3 years ago in Home
Post # 3
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

This is very common among insurance companies.  For future reference, just say “lab mix” and leave out the pit bull part.


The first question they asked me when I got homeowners insurance is “do you have a dog” and “what kind is it.”  Dog bites account for a large number of homeowner’s insurance claims.

Post # 4
825 posts
Busy bee

They’re not a dangerous breed. They’re loving and wonderful and we have one that’s a lab x border collie x pit mix. 

That being said — people are idiots and it is legal for insurance companies to charge homeowners higher premiums or refuse to renew a policy based solely on the owner’s breed of dog. There are also companies that don’t charge more based on breeds. 

There’s a whole bunch of dogs (and look-alike mixes) that typically are on these lists. 

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

Post # 5
63 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

When we were shopping around for renters insurance, there was a section asking questions about dogs… idk if it the same for home owners. I just adopted an olde english bulldogge so im curios to see if we have any issues renewing!

Post # 6
825 posts
Busy bee

@Stace126:  If she’s really in love with this company, which she may not be after this incident. They may require her to get a separate dog owner liability policy which covers $100,000 worth of lawsuits in the highly unlikely event that the dog did get accused of threatening/biting/mouthing someone or something.

Post # 7
6964 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Legal and very common for most insurance companies.

This is a list I pulled from google. They can outright refuse you coverage if they choose.

  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

Post # 9
42117 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

The insurance company gets to define  what “high risk”means for them. If she doesnt agree she can purchase insurance elsewhere.

Post # 10
6048 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

We had to get seperate insurance when we had a Mastiff.  That dog was the biggest wuss and more likely to drown someone in drool than bite them.  However, the rules are the rules.  If he had gotten out and something happened and we got sued our carrier wouldn’t have covered us.  I’d look around for insurance, but I wouldn’t lie to the company either. 

Post # 11
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

I love dogs and I do advocate that it is more on the owner than the dog. However, some fighting dogs are inbred and can behave a little wonky as a result. Also, if a pug bites me it is a bit different than if a pit bull does. The sheer strength of the jaws and the capacity to cause harm is obviously an insurance liability. 

I have nothing against strong breed dogs provided the owner is capable of leading them. I can, however, see a liability issue from an insurance perspective. 

Post # 12
5905 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@Stace126:  It is totally legal and common underwriting practice given that dog bites are the most common and often most expensive sort of homeowner’s liability claim there is.  I am aware that every dog is different, but the actuarial tables on certain breeds show that claims get paid out most on them, hence, uninsurable breeds.

Now, since insurance is an open marketplace, there are all kinds of companies with different underwriting rules, some more flexible than others regarding the sensitive issue of dog breeds.  Since the animal is in fact a mix, odds are good several carriers are going to be able to cover her home and the dog, but its no use trying to push a cart sideways.  If she has a good loss history with her company, she will find suitable coverage with another carrier.

Post # 13
5697 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

@Stace126:  When you (all of us) were growing up though, the over reactions regarding certain breeds of pet’s was much much less if not non existant. And pIt bulls have obviously gotten quite the reputation in the last ten years as we all know, thanks to their owners and bs like dog fighting. 

I’s completely within their right as far as I know to not cover her because of a specific dog breed, just as many condos/apartments etc won’t even allow you to have certain breeds live there. But it’s also her right to find other coverage. The harrassment of her by them is really ridiculous though

Post # 14
774 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I certainly don’t know why her agent would have acted that way. Does he WANT to lose her business? I work for an insurance agency and my response to her saying she has a lab/pit mix would be “oh ok, so you have a lab mix?” Yes, technically they can (and most do) make you put some kind of extra coverage on your policy if you have a dog from a certain list of breeds (pits, chows, etc) but it’s not as if the insurance company would know about the dog’s breed if it wasn’t disclosed. Of course if they ever did have to pay out on a claim because of the dog they would possibly drop her/charge extra after that point.

From someone who owns a pit/terrier *achem* …I mean owns a “terrier mix” it’s just easier if you omit the pit part when you talk about your dog. It’s sad, but true. The shelter we got him from didn’t mention pit anywhere in his paperwork and we took our cue from them. 

Post # 15
15016 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

@Stace126:  yes this is legal. If something happens and she’s sued, if the insurance company found out she knew it was even a small part pit, they could refuse to pay if she doesn’t disclose it. I would tell her to look into a separate policy on top of finding another home owners company (some cities and states already require this). If the separate policy is in place they may not use the dog against her in underwriting. She also might think about having a DNA test done on the dog. Some mixes have such small amounts that, by law, they may not be considered that particular breed. 

Post # 16
536 posts
Busy bee

Actually, the CDC did a study on the breeds of dogs involved in fatal human attacks. Pit bulls are at the top of the list. It makes sense why some companies don’t want to touch that. If your MIL is having issues, she can try another insurance company that doesn’t care about breed. 


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