The day you got your dog, did you think about how it could affect your homeowners insurance? Probably not. Did you know that the breed of your dog could cause some insurance companies to refuse to insure you as a homeowner? People with certain breeds of dogs that have been deemed dangerous such as pit bulls, Rottweiler’s and Chow Chows are being turned away from some insurance companies.

While you view your dog as a part of your family, insurance companies see them as a big risk. According to the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm, in 2014, 16,550 dog bite-related claims cost American insurance companies more than $530 million.

Getting rejected from an insurance company because you are the owner of a breed deemed dangerous is becoming more common, discussed Dori Einhorn, owner of Einhorn Insurance Agency. In the past 10 years, the cost of claims have risen 67 percent, which has influenced some insurance to “blacklist” some breeds. “It’s not impossible to get coverage,” Einhorn says. “But these dog owners should be prepared to jump through a few extra hoops.”

In a recent post on the Equifax Finance Blog, “Could Your Dog Keep You From Getting Homeowner’s Insurance?,” the experts share information for people shopping for homeowners insurance that have a dog. Below, you can find the helpful hints that are provided on the blog:

  1. Ask your fellow dog owner friends what insurance companies they use and if they had any problems getting insured. You can also reach out to dog owners with the same breed as you through advocacy groups online, dog rescue foundations and breed clubs.
  2. Find out if an insurance company blacklists any breeds upfront, because if they do there is no need to proceed. Not all insurance companies have blacklisted specific breeds; other insurance companies that may not have a blacklist are more concerned with whether the dog has a violent history that would deem the dog as dangerous.
  3. Consider obedience training or the Canine Good Citizen program, which is sometimes necessary for your dog to complete in order to be considered by the insurance company you are interested in. The AKC’s 10-step CGC program focuses on basic dog manners and responsible pet ownership skills that can help you recognize scenarios and what to do if you ever get into a potentially harmful situation.
  4. You can also consider buying dog liability insurance. Some companies offer specific dog liability policies that can cover your dog if it’s considered a dangerous breed or has a violent history that has deemed it dangerous.

For more information about homeowner’s insurance, visit the Equifax Finance Blog.

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