(Closed) homeowners insurance issues because of a dog???

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 32
2878 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

@Stace126: It sucks, but lack of / higher cost dog coverage by breed is pretty common. Depending on the policy, it may not cover the dog (some have carve outs the specifically do not cover certain situations, of which this may be one) so you / Mother-In-Law should read the fine print. 

Your MIL’s policy falls into the high-risk category because her dog belongs to a group that, statistically speaking, results in higher claims for the insurance company and the industry as a whole. 

If you really believe the dog would never, ever hurt a fly, why would lack of coverage matter? You get coverage on the off-chance something were to happen. Like it or not, something might with a dog. 


Post # 33
49 posts
  • Wedding: July 2015

@Stace126:  You’re welcome, hope it helps! We’re in the South Hills

Post # 34
82 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

We have 2 Alaskan Malamutes that are on the list (even fairly far down at #9) that have caused problems with homeowner’s insurance in the past.  Because they are considered a wolf-hybrid they are on the “dangerous class” that are allowed to be automatically declined for coverage, even though other types of dogs not included on the generic list have been studied and found to be “more dangerous”.  

In part, I understand where the insurance company is coming from.  My dogs could have the potential to cause A LOT of harm if they were to attack a person (even though they have never shown the slightest aggression to a person).  I have seen my dog crack and break one of those huge knuckle bones with her jaws.  On the other hand, they both LOVE meeting new people.  The kids that walk home from school by our house have a new ritual of stopping to pet/play with the dogs.

The one thing I can say about the dogs is that they are a GREAT visual deterrent from intruders Wink as they do look like wolves…lol.

Post # 35
5264 posts
Bee Keeper

Yep totally legal. The Insurance compay I work for will not insure homes that have pit bulls, german sheppards, dobermans or any mixes of these types of dogs. It because they are considered a liability issue if they were to attacke someone your home insurance would be liable to cover the incident if they were to sue.

Post # 36
116 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

We live in WI, and State Farm covers those with dogs on the list (Pit Bulls for us).  I was told that the first incident is on the dog, the second one is on YOU.  We didn’t pay extra when we had the Pit Bulls either, but they did tell me they are one of the few who doesn’t put restrictions or extra costs on you for the dog breed.  Might be worth looking into!

Post # 37
11744 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@Stace126:  It doesn’t matter what your opinion on the breed is. There are lists of dog breeds that insurance companies consider a higher liability, thus would increase your premiums or even deny coverage to you because of.  No, it’s not illegal in most states.

The insurance company isn’t going to care that they have never exhibited aggression before.  My ex’s pitbull never exhibited any signs of aggression (I loved that dog, he was so sweet, and I am super scared of big dogs, especially pit bulls) until he jumped their fence and brutally attacked the neighbor and the neighbors dog with no provocation.

Post # 38
963 posts
Busy bee

I don’t know if you can really blame the insurance company. They aren’t denying you Mother-In-Law coverage, you said that they said they’d have to change the rates. If your Mother-In-Law misses any payments, they won’t be lenient though because of the dog. But I don’t think that’s illegal.

My city doesn’t even allow pit bulls, they’re illegal here. Saying the breed is not dangerous is not necessarily true. Obviously there must have been a series of incidents for my city to ban them… They wouldn’t just randomly say “This dog is not allowed”.

Post # 39
166 posts
Blushing bee

You bet they do this and yes, it is legal.  These are the terms of THEIR insurance. If you don’t like them, you shop elsewhere.  By no means is this a new practice either.  For those pit lovers out there, it had been in practice long before pitbulls became popular. At that time, there were 6 breeds of dogs they would not cover.  Now I see it has expanded.  As for myself, I would never trust a pit.  I believe blood tells all and you selectively breed for the traits you want to see reinforced.  Pits are aggressive and that is what they are selectively bred for.  I don’t trust them, not even the cute, well-raised ones.  I am sure the board and my mailbox (which I NEVER read, btw) will now be flooded with naysayers who “love their pit”, but that’s my opinion.  I am a dog lover who has had an assortment of breeds, all displaying traits they were bred for.  That’s how I know.

Post # 40
1152 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Honestly I don’t see how “leaving out the pit part” would keep the company from covering her.  How do you PROVE the dog is part pit without a DNA test?  There are tons of breeds of dogs that look like they could have pit bull in them but don’t.

Now, I would understand raising rates or not covering a person who buys a pure bred pit bull puppy, or husky puppy, etc (even though I don’t agree with it, I understand that the rules are rules) but you just can’t prove a rescue/shelter dog’s lineage.  Even DNA tests are still not great.

Post # 41
2598 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

@MrsGatito:  Any dog, just like any person, can be dangerous. Pits are no more dangerous than any other dog that is raised and trained properly.

Pits were bred to be fighting dogs but they were also bred to be “people soft” and very loving, loyal and gentle to humans.  Its true they can be trained to fight other dogs more easily than, say, a Bassett Hound But it’s equally true that they can be socialized with other dogs just fine. 

 Breed bans are from ignorance. 

Post # 42
13657 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I know we were asked several times during the homeowners insurance process of we had a dog.  Sorry you’re going through this!

Post # 43
2922 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 1996

I know people who’ve had the DNA tests done and were completely shocked to find out that their dogs are breeds they never would have guessed, and that the breed the dog looked like most was nowhere in its heritage. If your mom has the money, I would suggest that she get a DNA test done in the hopes that it will turn out in her favor (it’s totally possible that the dog doesn’t have any pit bull in it, even if it “looks” like a pit) and then if it does she could submit the DNA test to the insurance as proof. (“Hey, the shelter we adopted our dog from guessed that it might be part pit bull, but it turns out they were completely wrong! Here’s the DNA test to prove it.”) I think it would be worth a shot. (If the DNA test comes out NOT in her favor, she can just shred it.)


Post # 44
454 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

We just switched homeowners insurances when we found out ours would not accept us with a pit bull.  If they choose to engage in breed discrimination, they don’t get my business.  Not only that, but since we were switching, we were able to get a lower rate with the new company since they wanted to win our business.

Personally, I wouldn’t omit my dog being a pit mix because obviously I want to have coverage if she were to bit someone.  I cannot picture that ever happening but who knows.  What if there is a police report and it says pit bull somewhere in it, and that has to go to the insurance company and they deny coverage?  I think it kind of defeats the purpose of having insurance to begin with.  We just chose to go with another company.

It is so irritating because my dog is not aggressive.  It is hurtful, as if a company was discriminating against a member of my family.  On top of all that is the fact that a “pit bull” is not a breed of dog.  It’s a crude grouping of a number of breeds and mixes.  Cities that have a ban in place generally ban “pit bull type dogs” which have the general look of a pit bull but could be any number of breeds or mixes (doubly unfair as the dog could be a mastiff, cane corso, american bulldog, or other pit “lookalike”).

Post # 45
1633 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I am an insurance professional.  Insurance rates are calculated based on probability. A number of factors makenit more probable thag an insurance company would have to pay out on a policy. Certain dog breeds increase those chances. That is why some carriers do not want to insure people with those dog breeds or willchatge them more…all because the likelihood of having to pay a claim is hhigher.  

Your Mother-In-Law is much hbetter off disclosing the breed and getting charged the correct rate instead of having a claim and needing her carrier to n pay out. In that case the carrier has the option to deny the claim for notndisclosing material facts to help them accurately underwrite her risk and offer her a correct rate.

Post # 46
1440 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

Charging a premium on “high risk” items is common.  Even when a claim hasn’t been made.  It’s in anticipation of a claim.  Not unlike new or luxury cars are going to be more expensive to insure for collision than a beat up 10 year old car. 

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