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Why Certain Breeds are in the Doghouse

By September 20, 2018April 2nd, 2020Blog

Did you know that the type of dog you own can affect your ability to insure your home?  Believe it or not, several dog breeds make it hard for us to write home insurance for their owners.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), dog bites and other dog-related injuries accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims paid out in 2017, costing more than $700 million*.  The III did an analysis of homeowner’s insurance data and found that while the number of dog bite claims nationwide decreased last year, the average cost per claim was up 16 percent.

The average cost per claim nationally has risen more than 94 percent from 2003 to 2015, due to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs.

According to our personal lines underwriter at Travelers, it’s not just the bite history of the breed they are concerned with, but also how strong the breed is and the number of claims associated with a particular breed.  Companies look at history based on dogs knocking down children, cyclists, the elderly, etc., which can result in injuries that impact the potential severity of the losses. We also live in a very litigious society, which greatly impacts claim costs.

Central Insurance lists just some of the dogs that may be difficult to insure:

  • Akita
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherds
  • Pit Bull
  • Presa Canario
  • Rottweiler
  • Siberian Husky
  • Wolf Breeds

If you have a dog, we encourage you to be a responsible dog owner and recommend you carry an umbrella liability policy in addition to your homeowner’s liability coverage. An umbrella policy will provide additional coverage beyond the limits of your homeowner’s policy should there be a covered incident.  If you have any questions, please call us at 864-288-9513 or email