Dogs come in all shapes and sizes—the American Kennel Club
has recognized a staggering 195 dog breeds. Despite that, all dogs—whether
a chihuahua or a bull mastiff—come from the same species, and you may
forget that they descend from wolves. However, insurance companies haven’t
forgotten the wild past of domesticated dogs, and it could impact your
When you purchase an insurance policy, you pay an insurance premium,
which is based on many factors. One of those factors is the likelihood that
a policyholder could suffer a loss. The higher the risk of loss, the higher the
premium. For example, traditionally, policyholders with a pool or trampoline
pay more than policyholders who do not have those amenities. How does
that relate to dogs? Perhaps because of their wild, ferocious past, dogs
are considered an additional risk by insurance companies, which means they
may cause your insurance premiums to increase.
Typically, a homeowners or renters policy will provide coverage for liability
arising out of dog ownership—usually related to a bite. According to the
Insurance Information Institute, liability claims related to dog bites
and other dog-related injuries cost homeowners insurers $854 million in
2020. For that reason, if a dog has a higher risk of causing a loss, the premium
will be impacted.
While all dogs are the same species, insurance companies address dogs in
different ways. While Connecticut law prohibits insurance companies
from acting discriminatorily toward people, they can consider animals when
determining a homeowner’s or renter’s premium.
As such, many insurance companies will charge an increased premium based
on the breed of a dog. Some may exclude liability coverage for certain breeds of dog
altogether. Typically, larger breeds (e.g., Pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds)
will lead to higher premiums or excluded coverage. Other insurance companies
may make decisions on a case-by-case basis, which are dependent not on the
breed of the dog, but on any actual, vicious propensities of an individual dog.
Do you have questions on how a dog might impact your homeowners or
renters premium? Give our office a call today and we will be happy to assist you.