Finding a home insurance provider that includes liability coverage for your pit bull can be difficult and expensive.
Homeowners insurance policies cover damage and injuries caused by household pets, but providers can deny you a policy or raise your rates based on your dog's breed. No matter how harmless you know your pit bull is, insurance companies may see your best friend as a liability concern. This article covers:
Owning a pit bull can raise your rates with home insurance providers, who view your pet as a liability risk. For this reason, you must disclose any household pets, and your rates can increase. While all dog breeds can bite under the right circumstances, larger breeds have the physical capacity to cause more damage. That makes them a bigger liability to insurance companies.
Insurers know that even breeds that are traditionally thought of as aggressive can make loving pets. Nevertheless, there is a concern that your dog can be provoked into behaving erratically.
Homeowners insurance policies include a personal liability portion, which covers the costs of personal injury and property damage that you're responsible for. For example, if your pit bull bites someone on a walk or tears apart your neighbor’s flower bed, personal liability insurance can cover the damages. Due to this liability portion, your pit bull can raise your policy rates or bar you from a policy all together.
Many providers restrict larger, stronger breeds like pit bulls, German shepherds, and rottweilers, due to their potential bite strength. Whether your insurance provider allows pit bulls or not depends on several factors, including your state's laws and your pit’s behavior history.
Insurer coverage varies on a case-by-case basis. Michigan and Pennsylvania have passed legislation that prohibits denying coverage based on breed alone, and there are more states planning to pass similar legislation. However, if you don’t happen to live in Michigan or Pennsylvania, here are a few providers that offer pit bull friendly policies.
While State Farm, Allstate, and USAA are great options for pit bull liability coverage under your homeowners insurance policy, coverage will vary. It is important to shop around to find the policy that's right for you and your pit.
By demonstrating your pit bull’s good behavior, you can increase your chances of getting coverage through your home insurance policy and also lower your rates. Here are simple steps you can take to prove your pit bull’s history of obedience and safe behavior.
When you own a dog breed with high bite strength, it's important to recognize the potential threat it poses to children and adults alike if startled. Here are some additional measures you can take as a pit bull owner to keep your dog happy and people around you safe.
If you have exhausted all your options and cannot find liability coverage for your pit bull through home insurance, consider getting an umbrella policy or canine liability insurance. If you have heard people refer to "pit bull insurance," they are most likely talking about canine liability insurance.
An umbrella insurance policy supplements your homeowners insurance policy by extending your maximum payout and filling in any coverage gaps. For example, if your home insurance covers liability up to $100,000, an umbrella policy could extend coverage to $300,000. Then if a claim surpassed $100,000, your umbrella policy could cover the difference up to $300,000 If you aren’t fully covered, you would be personally responsible and the costs could be recovered from your personal assets.
Canine liability insurance, unlike an umbrella policy, does not require a preexisting home or renters insurance policy. As a standalone policy, it provides a wide array of liability coverage related to your pit bull. Dog bites can easily exceed $35,000 in medical and settlement costs, so an individual pit bull liability insurance policy is a great alternative to coverage through home insurance. Many smaller insurers offer these insurance products.
These policies can be great alternatives that ensure you won’t have to pay out of pocket if you're sued for damage or injuries that your pit bull causes. Whether you find coverage through homeowners insurance, canine liability insurance, or an umbrella policy, make sure you protect you and your pit bull with coverage.
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