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Man’s best friend is a loving addition to more than half of American homes who own at least one dog. As dog lovers, we understand that pets are more than simply animals in our homes; they are a part of are family. In order to protect your pooch and your family, it is important to understand how homeowners insurance can be impacted by dog ownership.

How Your Dog Affects Your Home InsuranceLitter Liability

Whether you own a Bulldog or a Chihuahua, home insurance carriers need to know when a pet is in the home. They generally aren't concerned that your dog may bite your couch or damage your house, but they are concerned that your dog will bite somebody and cause a major lawsuit with a friend or neighbor. This makes dogs an insurance liability risk. The type of dog you own may increase or decrease this risk.

Mutts Matter

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were approximately 4.7 million dog bites in 2005, accounting for roughly $317.2 million in insurance claims. In 2007, the U.S. Postal Service reported that more than 3,000 city and rural carriers were bitten by dogs. Some insurance typically covers dog bite claims, but if you fail to disclose your dog ownership to your homeowner’s insurance company they will most likely not pay.

Some insurers may charge more for owners of particularly aggressive dog breeds or large dogs that can inflict a lot of damage. Some of the most expensive breeds to insure are Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Malamutes, Doberman Pinschers, Chow Chows, Great Danes, and Saint Bernards.

Reporting Rover

It is possible, that a dog may not raise your policy rates. Some small dogs, toy dogs, or indoor only dogs, may not raise your policy more than a few cents. When you get a new puppy, it is important to call your insurance company as soon as possible and inform them of your new addition. Knowingly omitting relevant liabilities to your home insurance company can be grounds for complete policy cancellation, which is certainly not in your financial interests.

Dogs are more than pets; they can bring added joy to any household as well as added security to the family. Unfortunately, dogs also bring a higher liability risk to your homeowner’s insurance policy. Regardless of whether you think Fido might get aggressive or not, it’s important to protect yourself and your family by disclosing any and all pets to your homeowner’s insurance company. If a new pet causes a large increase in your policy, it might be worth shopping around to a different company that may be more pet-friendly.

By Matt Reynolds - Google+
Posted 2:45 PM

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Claude Reynolds Insurance Agency Inc.
6801 Dixie Hwy Suite 232
Louisville, KY 40258
Phone: 502-933-2255
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