Homeowners’ insurance and your dog

Certain dog breeds may make it more difficult (and expensive) to get insurance

There are an estimated 70 million dog owners in this country. If you own a home and have homeowner’s insurance, your insurance will likely cover you if your dog bites someone. However, many insurance companies now charge a premium to owners of certain types of dogs. What breeds are most often deemed dangerous by insurance companies? Read on.

Premiums are based on claim experience

You can be sure that insurance companies do not want to make enemies of dog owners. But, they have a business to run, and their business is profit. You can be sure that if homeowners’ insurance companies adjust their rates based on the type of dog you own, there are statistics to back it up. What follows is a list of breeds which insurance companies deem to be higher risk of a claim.

See which dogs insurers consider the riskiest:

Pit bull terrier

1. Pit bulls and Staffordshire Terriers

The term “pit bull” includes both the American pit bull terrier and the American Staffordshire terrier. These breeds are frequently in the news for unpredictable attacks. The way pit bulls clamp their jaws when attacking make injuries particularly severe.

2. Doberman Pinschers

homeowners' insurance and dog

Dobermans have the reputation (and the appearance) of the ultimate attack dog. Sleek and muscular, they are an imposing breed of dog. Owners point to their loyalty and discipline.

3. Rottweilers

homeowners' insurance and dog

The American Kennel Club says rottweilers make good police dogs, herders or service or therapy dogs and are very protective of their territory. However, they need obedience training and socialization. Rottweilers can be great pets, but not without work on behalf of the owner.

4. Chow Chows

homeowners' insurance and dog

This breed, known for its scowling expression, black tongue and thick coat, likes to hunt, herd, protect and pull. The dog has a strong will to protect its family and can become aggressive if it perceives a threat to the family.

5. Great Danes

homeowners' insurance and dog

While the cartoon Marmaduke was a loveable dog, these dogs can weigh up to 100 pounds. The potential risk of a Great Dane comes from its size. Training to prevent jumping is essential with this breed.

 6. Akitas

homeowners' insurance and dog

Even the American Kennel Club recommends that Akitas be supervised around children. This breed originated in Japan and was used as a hunting dog.  The breeds thick double coat and its curled tail give Akitas their distinctive look.  But these dogs can cause great bodily injury if they attack.

 7. German Shepherds

homeowners' insurance and dog

The German shepherd is the world’s leading police, guard and military dog. The American Veterinary Medical Association cites the German shepherd as being involved in a high proportion of dog bite incidents.

Pet ownership brings our strong opinions

Dog owners can be very protective of their pets. Despite overwhelming evidence that some breeds of dogs are more prone to bite, dog owners insist that “their dog would never hurt anyone.” Take a look at the over 5,000 comments which this list generated when it was first published.

Our experience

Unfortunately, over the years, we have had the opportunity to represent many dog bite victims at McCready Law. We, too, have noticed a prevalence of certain breeds of dogs which attack. We have never handled a dog bite case involving a poodle or even a golden retriever. However, the dogs on the list above seem to be the repeat offenders when it comes to dog bite cases we handle. The key, as we have said before, training and responsibility on behalf of the dog owner is the key to pet safety and this is good to know for your homeowners’ insurance and your dog.

If we can ever be of assistance in matters involving dog bites or other animal attacks, please contact our office at 773-779-9885.