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Pets, Questions, and Home Insurance

Animal companions - whether furry, scaly, or feathered - can be one of the great joys of life. Humans all seem to enjoy connecting with other species, despite the language barrier, and we rightly open our hearts and homes to cats, dogs, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Not surprisingly, having pets raises life expectancy and reduces depression.

But what does it do for home insurance? That question and more are answered below.

What Does Home Insurance Have to Do with Pets?

Though human animals are obviously a risk to your home as well, nonhuman animals' actions are harder to account for. Left alone and suffering from anxiety, a dog might decide to trash the place. They feel the same emotions as humans and will often take out their anger on your stuff. Some home insurance policies might cover home damage from certain nonhuman animal companions, but not others.

Even more important is the question of liability. If a dog bites a guest or a neighbor, you are at serious risk of lawsuit. Normally, if a guest were injured at your home, your liability coverage would take care of the costs and the legal case. However, with pets, it is a bit more complicated.

First, certain species will be totally not covered. These include animals without a history of domestication, such as wolves, foxes, non-house cats, deer, ducks, alligators, etc.

Second, some breeds of dogs may not be covered. This is because there is a bias against some species. This comes from statistical data suggesting that certain breeds are more aggressive. While some scientists argue that pit bulls are only statistically more dangerous because they are trained to fight and are abused, home insurance providers will always trust the numbers. Some breads are treated as more dangerous and will either cost you more for home insurance or will not be covered for liability.

Which Dog Breeds Are Not Covered for Home Insurance?

This varies company to company, and some may cover all dogs while others cover none. It is important to check on a case by case basis.

Some states have also barred discrimination against certain breeds.

These 11 breeds are the most commonly not covered:

  • Pit Bull
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Rottweiler
  • Siberian Husky
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • German Shepherd
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Presa Canario
  • Wolf Hybrid (Wolfdog)
  • Akita

Are Mutts Covered?

Actually, mixed-breed canines (sometimes called mutts or mongrels) are statistically less likely to damage a home or attack humans. Some people speculate that this is because random mating is simply healthier than selective breeding.

So, for better home insurance pricing, consider rescuing a dog rather than buying a breed. It will cost you far less, and there are already dogs in need that will make great companions. Dogs in most pet shops come from cruel systems, according to the ASPCA, and your money can go to helping the animal friends you love rather than hurting them.

What do you think about it?

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