What Every Homeowner Needs to Know About Dog Breeds & Property Insurance in 2024

Owning a dog is one of life’s simple joys, but did you know that your furry friend could affect your home insurance policies? Yes, it’s true! Not all dog breeds are treated equally when it comes to property insurance.

In 2024, certain breeds might complicate your quest to secure or maintain homeowners insurance. Whether you’re planning to get a new dog or already have a pooch lounging at home, here’s what you need to know about dog breeds and their impact on your property insurance.

Understanding Breed Blacklists

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Insurance companies often have a list of breeds labeled as ‘high risk’ due to their perceived tendency to be more aggressive or potentially dangerous. This could affect your insurance premiums or even your ability to get insurance.

If you own a dog breed that’s on the blacklist, you might face higher premiums. Insurance companies see these dogs as a bigger risk. This means they think these dogs are more likely to cause an injury or other issues that could lead to insurance claims.

15 Commonly Excluded Dog Breeds

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When it comes to home insurance, not all dogs are created equal. Some pups could elevate the price of your policy, while others might not be covered at all. They worry about the chance of these dogs causing injuries or messing up your property.

Let’s look into the common culprits that might give your insurance agent a headache.

1. Akita

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These fluffy giants are known for their loyalty and power. But their strong protective streak puts them on the no-go list for some insurance companies. They perceive Akitas as a high risk for bites because they are naturally wary of strangers and have a strong instinct to guard.

2. Alaskan Malamute

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Alaskan Malamutes are big, strong, and built for hard work. These traits make them great pets for those who love the outdoors. However, their size and strength are exactly why your insurer might be worried. They can cause more harm by accident because of how big they are.

3. American Pit Bull Terrier

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American Pit Bull Terriers are often misunderstood. They are energetic, affectionate, and crave human attention. Unfortunately, they have a reputation based on a history of being bred for dog fighting. This has made insurers wary, tagging them as a liability.

4. American Staffordshire Terrier

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The American Staffordshire Terrier is another breed that bears the brunt of a bad rap. They are muscular and strong, and some think they look intimidating. Because of this, insurers block them in with breeds they see as risky.

5. Caucasian Shepherd

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Caucasian Shepherds are enormous and were bred to protect livestock. Their size alone can be enough to scare an insurance agent. They are natural guardians and can be suspicious of strangers, making insurers nervous about possible aggressive encounters.

6. Chow Chow

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Chow Chows are unique-looking dogs with their lion-like mane and distinct black tongues. They tend to be aloof and not overly friendly with strangers. Insurance companies are cautious about these traits, worrying that a Chow Chow might not warm up to guests.

7. Doberman Pinscher

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Doberman Pinschers are sleek, powerful, and fast. They have a history as guard dogs and are pretty intimidating when they stand their ground. This is both good and bad. Good for those wanting a protective pet but bad for liability reasons.

8. German Shepherd

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German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds in America. They’re smart and versatile, but their ability to be trained as police and military dogs makes some insurance companies nervous. Insurers worry because these dogs are so powerful and can be protective. This reputation leads to them being unfairly judged.

9. Great Dane

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Great Danes are gentle giants, kindhearted, and loving. But, due to their sheer size, they can unintentionally knock over things — or people. They might not mean any harm, but the damage can be done before you know it.

10. Pit Bull

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Pit Bulls face a lot of backlash because of how the media portrays them and their past use in illegal dog fighting. They’re often singled out by insurance companies as a liability risk. These muscular dogs are seen as more likely to cause injury if they bite.

11. Presa Canario

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The Presa Canario, another strong and sturdy breed, was originally used for working with livestock. They’re powerful dogs with a strong instinct to protect. This can make them excellent guard dogs but also make companies reluctant to insure your home if you have one.

12. Rottweiler

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Rottweilers are heavily muscled and can seem imposing. They’re actually quite affectionate and loyal to their families. But because of their capabilities and strong guarding instincts, insurers may have reservations.

13. Siberian Husky

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Siberian Huskies are known for their wolf-like looks and fierce independence. They’re energetic and need lots of exercise. Their playful actions can sometimes lead to minor accidents or injuries simply because of their high energy levels.

14. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

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Staffordshire Bull Terriers are robust and energetic. They have a history similar to that of Pit Bulls. The mix of their strength and any potential of aggression makes them a candidate for exclusion from standard policies. They’re often loving and gentle, but insurance companies are looking at the big picture.

15. Wolf Hybrid

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Wolf Hybrids are part dog, part wolf, and this wild heritage causes insurers to approach them cautiously. They’re seen as unpredictable because they’ve pulled genes from their wolf ancestors. And unpredictable is a big no for insurance companies.

Remember, even if your dog’s breed isn’t listed, insurance companies might still refuse coverage if your dog has a history of biting someone.

How to Deal with Breed Discrimination in Insurance

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To address breed discrimination in insurance, there are several steps that can be taken:

  • Advocate for Legislation: Support and advocate for legislation that prohibits insurance companies from discriminating against homeowners based on the breed of their dogs.
  • Seek Alternative Insurers: Look for insurance companies that do not discriminate based on dog breeds.
  • Provide Evidence of Good Behavior: If your dog has a good behavioral history, consider providing proof of training or certifications, such as the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certification from the American Kennel Club.
  • Engage with Insurance Commissioners: Contact your state’s insurance commissioner to express concerns about insurance companies’ discriminatory practices.
  • Shop Around for Options: Explore different insurance providers and policies to find one that considers taking into account the individual dog’s history rather than blanket breed restrictions.
  • Avoid Misrepresentation: Being honest and transparent when applying for insurance is crucial. Lying about your dog’s breed or behavior can lead to policy cancellations or even legal consequences like insurance fraud.

Individuals can take these steps to combat breed discrimination in insurance: ensuring fair treatment for responsible dog owners and their pets.

State Laws & Regulations

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Awareness of the local laws and insurance regulations in your state is crucial. Some states have specific guidelines about breed-specific legislation and insurance, which can help you advocate for fair treatment.

For instance, some places forbid insurance companies from denying coverage based solely on breed. If you live in such a state, knowledge of these laws can aid in negotiating terms with insurers.

Here’s What’s Important

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It’s important to remember that every dog is an individual. Breed alone does not determine a pet’s behavior or likelihood of causing harm. Responsible pet ownership, including training and proper socialization, is crucial, regardless of breed.

While insurance policies may have breed restrictions, finding adequate coverage is often possible. So, before bringing a new dog into your home, consider how it might affect your homeowner’s insurance and prepare accordingly.

Homeownership and pet ownership both come with big responsibilities. Being well-informed about the implications of owning certain dog breeds can prevent any unwelcome surprises with your property insurance and ensure that your home and pet are well-protected.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.