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Your dog could be driving up your home insurance rates

Your home insurance is susceptible to changes in the insurance market as well as a number of factors regarding the property itself. The size, age and number of inhabitants of a home can affect your monthly premiums. Another issue that can be overlooked is your pet.

Pets are taken into consideration because there are risks and expenses associated with them as well as the aforementioned factors. Depending on your specific insurance policy, dogs are typically covered by homeowners insurance.

In 2014, nearly 70 percent of all American homeowners have a dog, which means insurance companies have to spend a substantial amount of time dealing with liability claims regarding dogs, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

The more dogs you have, the likelier your insurance is higher.

Why such an increase?

Not all dogs are peaceful and friendly. As a result there are accidents that happen - most notably dog bites. Over $483 million was paid out in liability claims because of dog bites in 2013, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That number represents nearly one-third of all claims. The average payout per dog bite was $27,862 in 2013.

With large amounts of money necessary to cover lawsuits and medical expenses, insurance companies are finding it more and more important to closely monitor the number of dogs in homes.

Which breeds?

Some strict policies place a ban on certain types of dog breeds, while others seek to limit the total number of pets in your home. As such, based on how likely your dog is to bite someone, there are breeds that are considered riskier, and thus more expensive to insure.

Pitbulls, rottweilers and German shepherds are a few of the breeds that are deemed risky because of their size and nature, according to the San Francisco Gate. Doberman pinschers and chow chows are also considered a risk because only certain families are able to properly train them.

When are you at fault?

Every state has different standards to address liability claims because of dogs. The owner of the dog is at fault in three scenarios, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The first is called the dog-bite statute, which means you are liable for any damage resulting from your dog if it acted without provocation.

The one-bite rule means you were aware of the risk of your dog and the likelihood that it would bite someone, and you did nothing to prevent it.

The final rule relates to negligence. In this instance, you didn't try to control the dog in a reasonable fashion and it injured another person. This means your dog could have been roaming around freely without a leash or muzzle.

Finding an insurance company that will work with you in accommodating you and your pet's circumstances can be difficult for homeowners. If you wish to find cheap home insurance, then you may have to temper your desire for large, active dogs because they will surely affect your insurance rate.

CoverHound can provide home insurance quotes for your convenience.

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