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Depending on the type of dog you have, your home insurance may not fully protect you in the event of a dog bite or other related injury. Learn about dog breed home insurance restrictions and your options to stay insured. (iStock

Owning pets requires a significant long-term financial commitment. The cost of owning a pet can quickly add up between feed and grooming, not to mention pet fees and unexpected vet bills. Depending on the type of pet you have, it can be even more difficult to get home insurance.

Selected home insurers view dog ownership as an additional liability – this risk is increased if your dog is of a particular breed. This can mean paying out of pocket if a dog bite or other pet-related injury occurs on your property. Read on to learn more about common breed restrictions and how they can affect your home insurance coverage.

If you're struggling to find home insurance with no breed restrictions, shop with insurance companies on Credible. Race restrictions vary between home insurance providers, so it is important to compare premiums and policies from different insurers.


Dog breeds that may be restricted by your home insurance

One of the most common home insurance liability claims is dog bites and other pet-related injuries. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), insurance companies paid $ 854 million for nearly 17,000 dog bite and injury claims in 2020.

Depending on the type of dog you have, it may be more difficult to find home insurance to cover you in the event of a dog bite, according to Janet Ruiz, spokeswoman for the III. Common restrictions on homeowner insurance for dog breeds include:

  • Pit bulls
  • rottweiler
  • German shepherds
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Siberian huskies
  • Chow chows
  • Akitas
  • Great Danes
  • Wolf hybrids

It's important to keep in mind that each case is investigated on its own and some factors can make it harder to get insurance or successfully file a claim, Ruiz said. For example, finding home contents liability insurance can be a challenge if your dog has shown aggressive behavior in the past or you have made a claim for dog-related injury in the past.

Ruiz encourages dog owners to call their current or prospective insurance carrier to ask if they have restricted breeds that could result in a denial of the claim. And if you are thinking of adopting a pet, be sure to give your insurance company a call or look for less restrictive insurers.

You can instantly compare home insurers' premiums on the Credible online financial marketplace.


Find a dog-friendly home insurance

Owning a pit bull or rottweiler probably won't stop you from getting home insurance, but it can make it harder to find a policy to cover your pet in the event of a dog bite or other related injury. And luckily, there are more insurance companies that have no breed restrictions, Ruiz said.

If you work through an insurance agent, make sure they know about your pet so they can help you find a policy that offers the appropriate amount of coverage. That way, you won't be left with thousands of dollars in medical bills for dog-related injuries occurring on your property.


What to do if your insurer doesn't cover you because of your pet

Just because your home insurance doesn't cover your pet due to breed restrictions doesn't mean you need to find an entirely new policy. Switching insurers may be worthwhile, but you can also consider taking out dog liability insurance.

Pet liability insurance provides additional protection if your pet is a restricted breed or if they have a history of aggressive behavior. This ensures you won't have to pay out of pocket if you are sued for a dog bite injury or other pet-related incident.

Visit Credible to compare multiple home insurance plans – some of which may not have race restrictions.


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