For many people, a dog is an essential part of the family. As your best bud, exercise partner, and trusted comrade that is always happy to see you, what’s not to love. Unfortunately, your homeowner’s insurance carrier may not feel as fuzzy about Fido as you do.
While most pet owners can’t imagine their dogs biting a human being, the CDC estimates that nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. That can be a shocking statistic for most homeowners; it can be even more startling to know that many homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover dogs, meaning the homeowner is left liable for any resulting medical bills.
How Owning a Dog Can Affect Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage
Unfortunately, insurance companies must operate on statistics because there is simply no way for them to come out to each policyholder’s home to meet the well-behaved pup personally. Therefore, they may consider your shy spaniel in the same light as a terrorizing terrier.
Many insurance companies do not take a dog’s training or personal background into account, but some do. Similarly, some operate on statistics and breed reputations, while others have dog policies that don’t take any of it into account. Whether it seems fair or not, there are common breeds of dogs that some insurance companies will simply not cover. Often topping this list are Pit Bulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds.
How to Lower Your Risk
Adding a furry friend to your family will often mean a higher premium for your home insurance. However, if you remain claim-free, some insurance companies will take that into account over time. Here are some tips for helping you to lower your risk:
- Research Your Breed. When choosing your pet, it’s important to do your research on the breed and the individual animal’s history. For instance, some breeds are better with children than others. Some rescue pets have a history of aggression that should be considered. Some dogs have high levels of energy and require significant exercise to avoid becoming over-excited.
- Train and Socialize Your Dog. One of the best ways to minimize your risk of an incident is to properly train and socialize your dogs. By teaching simple commands, you can lessen your changes of a dog bite incident. For example, teaching your dog to drop a toy reduces your risk of being bitten when reaching toward his or her mouth.
- Be an Aware Owner. Most dogs will give you a sign if he or she is beginning to feel uncomfortable. Learn to read your dog, and be prepared to remove him or her from tense situations. Also, never leave a dog alone with small children.
When adding any pets to your family, it’s important to understand the impact it may have on your homeowner’s insurance policy. Prior to your purchase or adoption, talk with your Clemente Insurance Professional to be sure you are covered. If you are bringing a “high-risk” dog into your household, we can help you find a pet-friendly homeowner’s insurance policy that will address your needs and maintain reasonable rates.
At Clemente Insurance, we work with you to develop personal and business insurance policies that fit with your lifestyle and your budget. Contact Your Insurance Experts at Clemente Insurance and Financial Services by calling (888) 995-9098.