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Why Certain Breeds are in the Doghouse

By September 13, 2021Blog

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), liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries cost homeowners insurers $854 million in in 2020, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) and State Farm®.

The good news is that the number of dog bite claims nationwide fell in 2020 to 16,991 from 17,802 in 2019—a 4.6 percent decrease, according to an analysis of homeowners insurance claims data by III.  However, the average cost per claim increased by 12.3 percent in 2020 to $50,425 from $44,760 in 2019. In addition, III reports that the average cost per claim nationally has risen 162 percent from 2003 to 2020, due to increased medical costs as well as the size of settlements, judgments and jury awards given to plaintiffs, which are trending upwards.

According to our personal lines underwriter at Travelers, it’s not just the bite history of the breed that underwriters are concerned with, but also how strong the breed is and the number of claims associated with a particular breed.  Companies look at claims that stem from injuries sustained by dogs knocking down children, cyclists, and the elderly.  Because we live in a litigious society, these losses greatly impact 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 provides additional coverage beyond the limits of your homeowner’s policy should there be a covered incident.  If you have any questions, please contact us.

Choosing the right insurance agent is one of the most important decisions you will make. The Turner Agency, Inc. is a local Trusted Choice® independent insurance agency headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina.  Serving the Upstate of South Carolina and beyond since 1962, we offer a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet your specialized needs for your business, homes, automobiles, recreational vehicles, secondary homes, and more. 

The information in this article was obtained from various sources and is not all inclusive regarding the subject matter. This content is offered for educational purposes only.