Every good homeowner and renter knows that having insurance in case of an emergency is a good idea. This is especially true if you tend to frequently host guests in your abode. However, what you may not realize is that your furry family members could impact your coverage.

Yes, that's right. Some insurance companies will not cover dog-related incidents if the breed is considered aggressive. Moreover, some companies will refuse coverage all together or raise your rates if you have one of these breeds living in your home.

Photo by Joel Moysuh on Unsplash

It should come as no surprise that the pups leading the list are Pit Bulls, Doberman Pinschers, and Rottweilers. These are normally followed by Chow Chows, Wolf breeds, Presa Canarios, and Akitas, to name a few. While responsible dog owners take the time to properly train their pets, there's a reason behind this seemingly discriminatory decision made by insurance providers.

According to the MSPCA, "it is estimated that 4.7 million injuries occur from dog bites each year in the United States, with 800,000 requiring medical treatment. Insurance companies pay an estimated $250 million a year in dog bite claims, with an average claim cost of $12,000."

In an attempt to control costs, many insurance companies make the executive decision to not cover incidents with these animals. While unfair, it's their right and it is legal. While you may be thinking, 'I just won't tell them about my pet or the breed,' that's not a good decision.

Insurance policies are extremely important to have in place, and while your dog may not bite a living soul, if they were to jump on a guest and that individual were to break their arm, you would not be covered for that incident either. While your pup may be the sweetest boy around, small children have a way of surprising pets and this can lead to some terrifying trigger reactions.

Kids and Dogs
Photo by Leo Rivas on Unsplash

Thus, make a point to research your policy and ensure that every member of the household is considered. If you do find that your policy doesn't include your furry friend, consider a personal umbrella policy or switching to a company that's more compassionate when it comes to our furry friends.

State Farm and USAA are listed as companies that will cover all breeds as long as they have a clean history. In other words, if no claims have been filed against your pit bull, then they should be covered.

State Farm actually notes on their website that "just like humans, dogs are individuals. Every dog has a unique personality. While a dogs' breed may dictate what the dog looks like, how a dog reacts to people or situations isn't guaranteed by breed or type. Most bites or serious injuries are a perfect storm of situation and circumstance." It's always best to confirm for your specific location, pet, and policy type (renters or homeowners).

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