Purchasing Homeowners Insurance if You Own a Pit Bull


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ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byRae Osborn
ByMark Fitzpatrick
Edited byRae Osborn

Updated: May 22, 2024

Advertising & Editorial Disclosure

Purchasing homeowners insurance with a pit bull can be challenging. Still, with pit bull-friendly homeowners insurance companies like State Farm, Allstate and USAA and alternatives like a canine liability policy, it’s not impossible to find protection. Educating yourself about breed-specific regulations and demonstrating your pit bull's good behavior can also greatly improve your chances of obtaining affordable and comprehensive coverage.

Key Takeaways

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Purchasing homeowners insurance with a pitbull is possible but requires extra research.

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Some pit bull-friendly homeowners insurance companies include State Farm, Allstate and USAA.

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If homeowners insurance is unavailable due to owning a pit bull, consider a canine liability policy or umbrella insurance for broader coverage.

Can You Get Homeowners Insurance if You Have a Pit Bull?

Obtaining homeowners insurance when owning a pit bull is possible, though finding a provider might be challenging. Pit bulls are often categorized as a restricted breed due to perceptions of a higher risk of biting, which can limit options. However, this designation doesn't imply that your dog is aggressive. Ideally, insurers should assess each application based on the individual dog's history, but not all companies consider this specific approach.

Why Some Homeowners Insurance Providers Restrict Pit Bulls

While 25% of Americans view pit bulls negatively, as reported by the World Animal Foundation, this breed often surpasses expectations in temperament tests. The American Temperament Test Society (ATTS) notes that pit bulls pass these assessments 87.4% of the time, outperforming even the amiable Golden Retriever. Media portrayal and public opinion have also significantly shaped the image of pit bulls, often leading to misconceptions based on appearance rather than behavior.

However, most insurance providers rely on historical data, which sometimes inaccurately suggests larger dogs like pit bulls are more aggressive. This perspective impacts insurance policies and rates, despite evidence to the contrary.

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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

When seeking homeowners insurance, consider presenting your dog’s behavior. This approach can empower you to negotiate fair insurance terms, ensuring they accurately represent the true nature of your pit bull companion.

What Homeowners Insurance Covers Pit Bulls?

There are providers offering pit bull-friendly homeowners insurance such as State Farm, Allstate and USAA. These companies recognize that a dog's breed does not solely dictate its behavior or likelihood of causing injury. This approach aligns with the understanding that responsible pet ownership and individual dog behavior are more indicative of risk than breed alone.

Provider
Description
Average Annual Premium For $100,000 in dwelling coverage

State Farm

State Farm doesn’t inquire about the dog breed when issuing homeowners insurance policies.

$1,026

Allstate

Allstate focuses on the dog's behavior and bite history rather than breed.

$1,449

USAA

USAA, catering exclusively to U.S. military personnel and their families, does not impose any breed restrictions on dogs.

$1,134

States That Don’t Allow Breed Discrimination in Homeowners Insurance

In states like Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New York and Pennsylvania, laws have been enacted to prevent insurance companies from using a dog's breed as the sole factor in deciding on policy cancellations or renewals. While these laws prohibit breed-based decisions, insurers in these states may still adjust premiums based on the breed or exclude coverage for dog bite incidents.

On the other hand, the majority of states do not have such regulations. In these regions, insurance providers have the discretion to offer or withhold coverage to dog owners as they see fit.

Does Owning a Pit Bull Increase Homeowners Insurance Costs?

Owning a pit bull can indeed influence your homeowners insurance policy. Insurance companies may deny coverage or adjust premiums based on the type of dog you have, including breeds like pit bulls. This is because dog bite claims can be quite costly, and certain breeds are perceived as having a higher likelihood of causing such incidents.

Additionally, you may be required to get higher liability coverage depending on your dog’s breed. Generally, increasing your liability coverage can also increase your costs.

What to Do if You Can’t Find a Pit Bull-Friendly Homeowners Insurance Policy

If you're struggling to find a pit bull-friendly homeowners insurance policy, you have several options to consider, including seeking canine liability policies, looking for dog-friendly homeowners insurance providers, and increasing your liability coverage. Going without insurance when owning a dog, especially a breed like a pit bull, can be risky as you may face substantial out-of-pocket expenses in the unfortunate event of your pet causing harm.

Take a look at other options you might have to get homeowners insurance with a pit bull:

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    Canine Liability Policies

    These are specialized insurance policies designed specifically for dog owners. They provide liability coverage for incidents involving your dog, including those that may not be covered under standard homeowners policies. Canine liability policies are particularly useful for owners of breeds that are often excluded from homeowners insurance.

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    Look for Breed-Neutral Insurers

    Some insurance companies, like State Farm and USAA, do not discriminate based on breed but instead assess individual dogs based on their behavior. Research and reach out to breed-neutral insurers who may be more accommodating.

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    Increase Liability Coverage

    If you find a homeowners policy that covers your pit bull but offers limited liability, consider purchasing additional liability insurance. This can help cover costs if your dog injures someone or causes property damage.

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    Get a Canine Good Citizen Certificate

    Some insurance companies are more favorable to dogs that have passed the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) program. This program tests dogs on obedience and temperament.

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    Seek Assistance from State Insurance Departments

    If you're struggling to find coverage, contact your state’s insurance department. They may have resources or suggestions for obtaining coverage in your area.

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    Consider Umbrella Policies

    An umbrella insurance policy provides additional liability coverage above the limits of your homeowners' policy. This can be a way to extend coverage to include your pit bull.

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About Mark Fitzpatrick


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Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.


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