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Homeowner Insurance Tips: Home Insurance for Dog Owners

Tips on finding California homeowner's insurance when you own a dog

Homeowner’s insurance is a must-have when you own a home. You might know that a homeowner’s insurance policy covers certain types of losses to your house and its contents, such as damage from fire or storms, but did you also know that the liability coverage on a homeowner’s insurance policy protects you from claims and lawsuits for injuries and damages to the property of others that occur at your premises or from your actions, for which you might be held legally responsible, including those which arise out of dog-related incidents?

Key facts about dog ownership and dog bite statistics:

  • According to an APPA Survey, 54 out of 125 million US households have at least one dog.
  • California has one of the highest rates of dog-bite claims.
  • The CDC estimated that 4-5 million people are bitten by dogs each year.
  • Costs of insurance claims for dog bites averages $30,000 per claim, although the cost of an individual claim can be much higher, even in the millions.
  • 1 in 5 dog-bite claims requires medical attention.
  • Children and senior citizens are at greatest risk of being bitten by a dog

High Risk Dog Breeds

In California, insurance companies may "blacklist" home owners for owning certain dog breeds. These breeds might be considered "uninsurable", leaving the dog owner at risk of having to pay medical costs or pay out of pocket to defend themselves against a lawsuit if their dog bites someone.

The following dog breeds may be considered “aggressive”, "bad", or “dangerous” by certain insurance companies, leading to higher insurance rates or limiting the ability to get homeowner’s insurance:

  • Pit Bulls and certain Terriers
  • Rottweilers
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepards
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Siberian Huskys

Unfortunately, some insurance companies won’t write policies for homeowners who own certain breeds of dogs. Statistically, owning certain breeds carries a greater risk of dog-related incidents and bites. No matter how well-trained or mannered your dog is, if the breed is prone to biting you may find it difficult to get a reasonably priced homeowners insurance policy… if you find one at all.

Dog Bite Prevention: Reduce Risks by Increasing Safety

While you can’t guarantee that your dog won’t bite, there are steps you can take to reduce risks.

  1. Comply with all applicable state and local laws, regulations and codes
  2. Comply with all licensing requirements, including scheduled rabies shots
  3. Practice responsible dog ownership
  4. Socialize your dog so it has less fear/anxiety when visitors are present
  5. Keep your dog(s) in a fenced area when outdoors at your home
  6. Keep your dog(s) on a leash when outside of the fence or away from home
  7. Train your dog to obey using reward-based training or training classes
  8. Never leave children unsupervised with your dog(s)
  9. Never assume your friendly dog wont bite a stranger or visitor – any dog can bite
  10. If your dog displays aggressive behavior, get immediate help from a professional such as a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT) or veterinary behaviorist (Dip ACVB)
dog owner walking dog

Tips for Finding Homeowner’s Insurance when you own a dog

What can a homeowner who owns a dog do to find reasonably priced homeowner’s insurance?

  • Consider owning a dog that is not considered “bad” or “dangerous” by insurance companies
  • Demonstrate that you’ve taken preventative measures to reduce dog-related incidents, such as having fencing around your home
  • Shop around for homeowners insurance
  • Check with the California Insurance Commissioner’s office if you are unable to find insurance
  • Contact a California independent insurance agent who represents a variety of insurance companies

Ask Armor Insurance

The homeowner insurance experts at Armor are ready to assist you with homeowner's insurance questions.

With Armor Insurance as your California independent insurance agent, you'll have access to an experienced homeowner’s insurance agent who can guide you toward the best homeowner’s insurance coverage and rate options if you own a dog.

If you are not an Armor customer, request a California homeowner’s insurance quote and get the expert guidance you've been missing!