High Risk Dogs for Home Insurance: It Could Cost You

BAKERSFIELD, CA (KGETComment) — All homeowners and buyers need home insurance. But owning a pit bull can not only make it difficult to get home insurance, it can also cost you more.

According to a report by Quote Wizard, home insurers consider pit bulls high risk due to the potential for bites and attacks. Pit bulls are lumped into the category of large dog breeds, some insurers say they are capable of causing more damage and therefore have a higher risk of higher claims, according to the report.

Some companies will deny insurance or increase the price of the policy if a pit bull lives on the property.

These policies impact puppies and people who are just looking for a place to live.

“We have adopted dogs that have been turned away due to owners/insurance companies,” said Nicole Gitzke of the City of Bakersfield Animal Care Center. “We recently learned that huskies have been added to the list and it came as a surprise to all of us.”

The most common breeds considered high risk by home insurance companies include Pit Bulls, Pit Bull Mixes, Rottweilers, Akitas, Presa Canarios, Mastiffs, German Shepherds, and Pit Bull Hybrids. wolves.

“Our shelter is full of German Shepherds, Huskies and Pit Bulls,” Gitzke added. “These are dogs that face unfair stigma and stay in the shelter much longer because most tenants can’t have them.”

California insurance companies paid the most money for dog bite claims in 2020, according to the Insurance Information Institute. This amount totaled $135,900,066 for 2,103 claims. Florida paid the second highest in the nation with a total of $68,062,085.

“Unfortunately, there are quite a few races that are discriminated against when it comes to renters and home insurance policies. It targets one race because of a stigma, rather than on a case-by-case basis,” Gitzke said. .

But there are companies that will insure “high risk” breeds. State Farm doesn’t ask about your dog’s breed, while Allstate and USAA cover high-risk breeds on a case-by-case basis, according to the report.

Although some states, including Michigan and Pennsylvania, have passed legislation prohibiting insurers from denying coverage based on an animal’s breed, this is not yet national practice.

another report by QuoteWizard said many insurance companies have had negative reactions to breed restrictions. Organizations such as the American Kennel Club, Humane Society of the United States and Best Friends have called on companies to ban the practice as it raises concerns about how people are treated based on their breed type. pet.

However, if you can prove that your pitty or pup is a good girl or good boy, the aforementioned insurance companies say they’ll give your dog the benefit of the doubt.

Ways to help prove your puppy is a good dog:

  • Enroll your “high risk breed” in a dog training course.
  • Earn the Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certificate from the American Kennel Club. It’s a great and respected way to prove your dog’s good behavior.
  • Neuter or neuter your dogs. There is evidence to suggest that a stationary dog ​​is more docile and well behaved.
  • Keep up to date with your dog’s vaccinations and vet visits.

You can also minimize risk by trying these tips:

  • Get to know your dog’s stressors and trigger behaviors to avoid them.
  • Socialize your “high-risk breed” with other dogs. This reduces the risk of him feeling threatened when around other dogs and strangers.
  • Train your dog on a leash.
  • Train your dog to drop toys when playtime gets too tough. This way he will know the stop signal.
  • Don’t leave your dog in the care of strangers or people with children. Children do not instantly know your dog’s limits and may provoke him accidentally.

If you are unable to find a home insurance company willing to work with your “high risk” breed, the next step would be to look into a umbrella policy Where dog liability insuranceindicates the report.

“We encourage everyone to do your research before adopting a pet. If you want to go to Rottweiler, make sure you know what you’re getting into,” Gitzke said. “Landlords and insurance companies can deny you.”

“We disagree but we never want to see an animal end up at the shelter,” she added.