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Your Dog May Affect Your Home Insurance Coverage

Your dog may be an integral part of your home, but not all insurance companies view your pet in the same way you do. Your dog's breed can affect the cost of your homeowners insurance and whether you're even allowed a policy, according to Psychology Today.

Insurance companies have determined certain breeds of dogs affect the financial considerations of issuing a policy. This is mostly because dog bites are costly incidents for businesses. According to the source, an average dog bite claim costs $30,000 and in 2013, dog bite claims amounted to $490 million in payouts.

Some breeds tip the financial scales so much insurance companies created an "uninsurable risk." The breeds that make the list may come from breed statistics, media coverage or personal knowledge at the insurance company.

There's a wide spread of dogs on insurance companies' list, but common breeds that can be denied coverage, according to the source, are:

  • Pit Bull mixes

  • Mastiffs

  • Rottweilers

  • Doberman Pinschers

  • German Shepherds

  • Wolf mixes

  • Siberian Huskies

  • Alaskan Malamutes

  • Staffordshire Terriers

  • Presa Canarios

  • Chows Chows

  • Akitas

  • Great Danes

  • Is it legal?
    The use of a breed specific list for insurance companies is legal in many states. However, more states are creating legislation against the practice, according to the source. Michigan and Pennsylvania have restricted the amount insurance companies can profile breeds. Additionally, 10 states have legislation pending regarding the issue. Many of the laws propose a rule that would allow insurance companies to deny coverage based on the specifics of a dog, such as a known history of aggression, and not one breed alone.

    Look at your policy
    You may have a home insurance policy that does not cover your dog and not even know it. Look at your own policy, and if you aren't sure, contact your insurance provider directly. If your current policy doesn't cover your dog, you may want to look into a canine liability policy, according to Trusted Choice.

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