They may be known as “man’s best friend,” but even the best trained dog – regardless of breed – can increase risk. That new, adorable holiday puppy could mean a homeowners insurance rate increase, the need for more liability coverage or you may be dropped by your insurer altogether.
According to the CDC, there are over 4.5 million Americans bitten by dogs each year and about 1/5th of those result in the need for medical care and 20-30 resulting in death.
The liability portion of most homeowner’s insurance policies cover medical costs incurred by dog bites but many insurers restrict what kinds of dogs they’ll cover. Two states have laws forbidding insurance companies from denying coverage base on breed alone, but it’s still legal in most states for insurers to deny or revoke your coverage – especially if an incident happens without them even knowing about your new pet.
While some insurers are reluctant to insure certain breeds, others have a more modern approach to assessing risks. Instead of trying to predict an animal’s bite risk based on breed assumptions, insurers are looking at the owner’s behavior and approach to dog ownership. For example, insurance companies will view a dog trained to guard and protect or who has a bite history as a higher risk than one whose owner spends time training, socializing and taking steps to reduce the likely hood of a biting incidence in the first place.
So, congratulations on your new puppy! We wish you many wonderful years with the new member of your family. If you have any questions about how your bundle of cuteness may affect your insurance, give us a call. We can answer your questions, give advice and as an independent agent we can quote multiple carriers with just a single call from you.
At the Gansfuss Agency we care about you, your home and your pets. We’re family owned and operated, knowledgeable and friendly -we’re here to service all of your insurance needs.