YOU ASK:

Why is it difficult for dog owners to buy home insurance?

WE ANSWER:

In the United States, dog-related cases usually account for a quarter of all home insurance liability claims, with insurers having to pay a total of several hundred million dollars a year in dog-bite liability compensation. This is why the majority of home insurance providers have introduced some restrictive measures aimed at dog owners because of the high liability risks their four-legged pals pose.

Problems Dog Owners May Face When Buying Home Insurance

The majority of home insurance policies cover dog-related liability up to the limits specified in the policy. So far so good. However, if your dog is a breed that is generally considered aggressive, you might find it impossible to find any home insurance, since companies would not be willing to take on the liability risk that you, as a dog owner, pose.

Pit bull, Rottweiler and Chow Chow are among the breeds considered inherently vicious and aggressive. Even if your dog has not bitten anyone, some companies may still refuse to sell you home insurance on the grounds of the breed of your dog. That shouldn't cast a damper on your wish to find home insurance. You still have the chance to find home insurance if you shop around - every company and every state has a different policy towards dog owners. Most of the insurers will generally agree to insure the home of a dog owner, but at a slightly higher rate.

The serious problem arises once your dog does bite somebody. A dog-related liability claim will most likely cause your insurance provider to boost your home insurance premium. Some insurers even make dog owners choose between their pets and their home insurance. You can get a reduction by restraining your dog with chains and muzzles or by taking your pet off the policy.

In the worst-case scenario, the dog bite will cost you your policy, because your insurer may drop it. In this situation, you may find it really hard to find home insurance elsewhere because the dog-bite claim will appear in your CLUE report for a few years after the incident.

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