The Prohibited Dog List - The Dog Your Insurance Company May Not Want You to Have
We know you love your dog! Bergen Insurance Group loves dogs too! However, even if you think Fido is a harmless dog, your insurance carrier may think different. The breed of your dog matters to most home insurance carriers. If you have a dog or are thinking about getting one, you should let your agent or carrier know first.
Homeowners Insurance & Dogs
Many insurance carriers will not accept or write a policy for a homeowner if they own certain breeds of dogs they have deemed dangerous or vicious, also known as the "Prohibited Dog List". If your dog has an aggressive disposition or is a trained attack dog, you can include them on that list as well. In addition, once a dog has previously bit someone and has established a bite history, insurers do not want to take on that risk either, even if it was only once.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, "millions of people are bitten by dogs every year, mostly children." As of 2020, the average cost per claim is $50,425. In some states, dog owners can be charged in serious or fatal attacks.
The Prohibited Dog List
All carriers do not have the same unacceptable dog list. Some are very short and others are very, very extensive. That is why it is a good idea to use a Broker, like Bergen Insurance Group, we have many different options to place your home insurance with the correct carrier.
Here are some of the most common dogs on the list , full- breed or partial (regardless of bite history):
American Staffordshire Terrier
Mastiff (all types)
*Dogs of mixed breed involving any of the above breeds are also ineligible
Do You Own a Rental Property with Tenants (List is even longer)?
The ineligible dog list can even be more extensive if you own a rental property and your tenant has a dog. Some of those additional unacceptable dogs could include any of the following breeds (full or partial); Boxer, Dalmatian, Great Dane, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Saint Bernard. This list includes ANY dog with a bite history or aggressive tendencies.
True Claim: Believe it or not, even a cute 5lb Yorkshire Terrier can bite the mailman.
Paid Out: $6500
The Good News if Fido is or is Not On Your Carriers Prohibited Dog List
The good news is that if your dog 1) is not on the carriers unacceptable dog list, 2) is not vicious nor has a aggressive temperament, and 3) has no previous bite or injury to others history, you may be covered. Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically will cover the dog bite liability legal expenses up to your policy limit. If the claim exceeds the limit, the dog owner is responsible for all damages above that amount.
Some Carriers Bend The Rules
Some carriers also make some exceptions to a dog on the prohibited dog list if:
1) insured reduces their liability limit on home policy (this reduces the companies potential pay out) ;
2) applicant provides a "Canine Good Citizen" certificate issued by the American Kennel Club for the dog;
3) the animal is trained as a Service Dog or functions as an assistance dog defined by the ADA and National Fair Housing Act; or 4) K9 and Police dogs which are owned by or in the care, custody, or control of an insured that is trained in handling police dogs and K9s.
Hope this Helps!
"Disclaimer: The content contained in this blog is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered insurance advice since every client's needs and circumstances are different. Bergen Insurance Group, LLC makes no representation as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All statements represent the sole opinion of the author and is provided on an as-is basis. For an actual description of all coverages, terms and conditions, refer to your insurance policy.”