Pets are often considered part of the family, providing companionship, entertainment and laughter most of the time. But, perhaps there was a less than proud moment when your furry little buddy dug up your neighbor's prize garden or bit the mailman. Though you may want to bury that moment forever, there is some good news if you had home insurance at the time: Most likely, the damage done was covered by your policy.
Typically, the liability portion of your home insurance coverage covers the actions of your pets if they damage items that you don't own or if they injure people who do not live in your house. If your pet slips up, you'll likely have liability coverage.
However, did you know that certain types of pets can make it difficult to obtain home, renters or condo insurance through certain companies? Here's why.
Are Certain Pets Uninsurable?
Generally, you can purchase home insurance with most types of domestic pets. However, some home insurance companies will list certain types of dog breeds that they consider uninsurable, with the biggest factor being the history of the breed. While this is a debatable topic, as temperaments vary greatly among individual pets, insurance companies look at the risk factors associated with insuring people who have these breeds as pets.
One of the most common risk factors is a dog bite. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2005, about 15 percent of liability claims dollars paid under home insurance policies were attributed to dog bite claims. That amounts to roughly $317.2 million paid for dog bites alone. Insurance companies often use statistics like these in relation to home insurance claims to determine if they're willing to insure this type of risk. So, if a particular dog breed has a documented history of attacks or bites, an insurance company may consider this risk to be too high, thus causing the company to deem the breed uninsurable.
Common dog breeds that are often considered uninsurable include:
- Alaskan Malamute
- Chow Chow
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
- Pit Bull
- Presa Canario
- Siberian Husky
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Wolf hybrids
Exotic animals, such as snakes, tigers, etc., also may fall in the uninsurable category. It's best to check with your specific insurance provider — preferably before you get a pet — to see if limitations exist around owning these types of pets.
How to Find Out if Your Pet Will Affect Your Home Insurance
When you apply for home insurance, a company often asks if you have pets to determine whether you can purchase home insurance from them or not. If you add a pet to your family after your policy is active, you should take the following steps to determine whether coverage is affected by your pet:
- Read your home insurance policy contract to see if it denotes pets that are not covered.
- Call your insurance company if you're unsure or if you have questions about your policy terms.
It's best to disclose information about any pets you have to ensure your policy will properly cover you in possible situations involving your pet.
When you get a quote through Progressive Home Advantage®, provided and serviced by select homeowners insurance companies, your representative can help you determine what type of insurance is available to you if you have pets.
The information in this blog may vary based on your particular state or situation. Always refer to your insurance policy for your specific coverages.
*Progressive Home Advantage® policies are placed through Progressive Specialty Insurance Agency, Inc. with select insurers that it represents. These insurers are not affiliated with Progressive, are solely responsible for claims and pay PSIA commission for policies sold. Prices, coverages, privacy policies and PSIA's commission vary among these insurers. A quote from one of the insurers can be provided through this site. Click here for a quote from other insurers or more information about PSIA's commission.