Homeowner’s Insurance and Your Dog
Homeowner’s Insurance and Your Dog: What You Need to Know
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), nearly half of the households in the United States have a dog or a cat. As pet owners in California, we treat our canines and felines like family; however, the insurance company we choose may not see them the same way we do.
Here is what you need to know about homeowners insurance and your pet.
Are Pets Covered by Insurance?
Many times, you will find that homeowners insurance policies do cover pets. They provide liability coverage in the event that your pet injures another or causes damage to someone else’s property.
Some pets come with higher risks than others, though. There may be a hidden premium, additional charges, or even denied coverage if you own a certain breed of dog or an exotic pet that is considered more likely to bite or injure someone.
What Breeds Are Often Excluded?
In many cases, the insurance company will review your pet’s history before deciding on your coverage. They will typically look for any previous claims in order to deem the pet risky or not.
Many insurance companies in California may consider some breeds uninsurable. These include Doberman Pinschers, German shepherds, Great Danes, Mastiffs, Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, and Siberian huskies among others.
What If My Dog Has A History?
Sometimes, it all comes down to which state you reside in. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there were more than 17,000 dog bite claims in 2019, which totaled over $796 million.
The average homeowners insurance policy has coverage limits of between $100,000 and $300,000 in liability for dog bites. Anything over those amounts will have to come right out of the homeowner’s pocket.
Some states have a one-bite rule where pet owners will get a pass in the first instance. Other states have their own dog bite statutes in place, making the owner automatically liable for property damage and injury resulting from their dog’s actions.
Do I Have Options?
While some insurance companies cover dog bites, others do not. In that case, you have a few options to consider as a homeowner.
- Umbrella Policy: This kind of policy provides liability coverage for damage or injury to another individual or property not covered by your homeowners insurance. A policy for up to $1 million will typically cost a homeowner, on average, $200 to $300 annually.
- Excess Policy: This gives the homeowner a higher coverage limit for damages.
- Dog Liability Insurance: This is coverage for dog breeds that are typically excluded, such as those we mentioned earlier.
To get answers to your questions about insurance and to better understand your coverage limits, it is best to consult with an expert to help you navigate the process. If you have a dog and are interested in a homeowners insurance policy covering your pet, contact Panorama Insurance Agency today. We will be happy to provide you with additional information and help you find the best coverage for your needs.