What Dog Breeds Will Affect Your Homeowners Insurance?

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Updated: May 22, 2024

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Owning certain dog breeds, such as Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers and other perceived riskier breeds, can influence your eligibility for and cost of homeowners insurance. Insurance providers evaluate the risk associated with these breeds based on historical incidents of bites and attacks. As a result, you may experience increased premiums, policy restrictions or even denial of coverage, as insurers aim to mitigate potential liabilities and financial losses stemming from dog-related incidents.

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Key Takeaways

Owning a dog breed that's considered high risk can impact homeowners insurance coverage, leading to higher premiums or policy restrictions.

Demonstrating responsible pet ownership through training and good behavior certifications can mitigate the impact of a high-risk breed on insurance terms.

Alternative options like specific liability insurance for dogs offer targeted coverage, providing a solution for homeowners with breeds viewed as high risk.

Dog Breeds That Affect Homeowners Insurance Policies

Certain dog breeds can significantly impact homeowners insurance policies due to their history of bites and attacks, leading to higher claims for medical expenses, legal costs and compensation. The specific breeds can vary between insurance providers, as each company has its own criteria for determining risk. Here are some of the most common:

  • Pit Bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Great Danes
  • Presa Canarios
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Wolf-hybrids

Insurance companies often label these breeds as higher risk, which may affect coverage options and premium costs.

Why Certain Dog Breeds Affect Homeowners Insurance Policies

Certain dog breeds affect homeowners insurance policies due to statistical data indicating a higher likelihood of these dogs being involved in incidents that result in bodily injuries or property damage. Insurance companies analyze historical claims data, which show that some breeds are more prone to behaviors that lead to higher medical expenses, legal fees and compensation payouts.

This risk assessment is rooted in insurance companies' desire to minimize financial losses from dog-related claims. As a result, owning dogs classified as higher risk can lead to increased insurance premiums or specific restrictions within a policy to mitigate these potential liabilities.

How Can You Prevent Your Dog’s Breed From Affecting Your Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners with breeds considered high risk can take several steps to mitigate the impact on their homeowners insurance, such as providing proof of obedience training or agreeing to a higher deductible. By demonstrating responsible pet ownership and taking proactive measures, you can often find insurance companies willing to provide coverage, possibly at more favorable terms. It's about showing that your dog, despite its breed, poses less risk than typically perceived.

Provide proof of obedience training

Certificates from recognized training programs can show that your dog is well-behaved.

Secure a good behavior certification

Some organizations offer certifications for dogs that pass certain behavioral tests.

Share your dog’s history of non-aggression

If your dog has been with you for a long time and doesn’t have any history of aggression, you need to show this, too.

Increase your liability coverage

Opting for higher liability limits can make you a less risky proposition.

Agree to a higher deductible

Showing willingness to absorb more out-of-pocket costs can also lower premiums.

Fence your property

A secure fence or a locked dog house demonstrates proactive measures to prevent potential incidents.

Shop around

Different insurers have different policies; some may be more lenient towards certain breeds, so always get quotes from multiple companies.

Alternative to Homeowners Insurance if You Have a High-Risk Dog Breed

If homeowners with high-risk dog breeds find it challenging to secure traditional homeowners insurance, one viable alternative is purchasing a specific liability insurance policy for their pet. This type of insurance is designed to cover incidents involving the dog, such as bites or other injuries to people or animals, and property damage the dog may cause.

Liability insurance for dogs provides a focused solution, directly addressing the primary concern of insurers by covering potential claims related to the pet's actions. This can make it easier for homeowners to obtain coverage, as it separates the risk associated with the dog from the broader risks covered by a standard homeowners policy.


Targeted coverage: Offers specific protection for incidents involving the dog, ensuring claims related to the pet are covered.

Additional cost: Represents an extra expense on top of regular homeowners insurance.

Easier to obtain: Can be easier to acquire for owners of breeds considered high risk, as it's specifically designed for this purpose.

May have limits: Coverage limits may not be as high as those included in a comprehensive homeowners policy.

Peace of mind: Provides assurance that you're protected against potential financial liabilities caused by your pet.

Separate policy management: Requires managing another policy, with its own terms, conditions and renewals.

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About Mark Fitzpatrick

Mark Fitzpatrick headshot

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.