Homeowners Insurance for Dog Owners (The Ultimate Guide for 2022)

Your homeowners insurance policy is a crucial part to having the proper liability coverage for your dog.

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UPDATED: Jun 20, 2022

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Written By: Chris TepedinoReviewed By: Laura WalkerUPDATED: Jun 20, 2022Fact Checked

The Rundown

  • Your homeowners insurance policy covers liability from dog-related incidents
  • Owning specific dog breeds can disqualify you from homeowners coverage with some companies
  • Some insurance companies offer specific pet liability coverage, which could be helpful for some dog owners

Owning a dog can be a special and rewarding experience. However, it is also a big responsibility, and you may have a lot to consider when it comes to choosing homeowners insurance for dog owners.

Homeowners insurance offers liability coverage for situations all dog owners hope never happens, like if your dog bites a friend or a visitor. Since homeowners insurance is crucial to protect yourself and your family, you may have a lot to consider before purchasing a policy.

How important is homeowners insurance for dog owners?

Homeowners insurance is important for anyone who owns their own home, but homeowners insurance for pet owners is especially important in terms of liability coverage. Consider the following statistics concerning dog owners and homeowners insurance:

  • Nearly 50 million households in the U.S. own at least one dog.
  • More than 4.5 million people get bit by dogs annually, many of them requiring significant medical attention.
  • The average cost of a dog-bite-related claim in 2018 was over $39,000.
  • Breed outlawing is illegal in some states, but many insurance companies deny homeowners insurance to people with certain dog breeds considered dangerous.

If you own a dog, revisit your homeowners insurance policy to ensure your specific breed is covered. Contact your insurance company if you got a dog after purchasing your homeowners insurance policy.

Make sure your existing homeowners policy covers your dog. If it doesn’t, make the necessary policy adjustments, so you have coverage in the event of a dog-related incident.

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Why do some insurance companies ban certain dog breeds?

Dogs can cause problems for liability coverage in many ways. If a dog bites someone, jumps on someone, or aggressively runs toward a person resulting in their injury, you may have to file an expensive homeowners claim.

Many insurance companies banned some of the breeds responsible for most of these offenses to offset claims costs. If you have a breed that an insurance company bans, it will deny you coverage.

Not all insurance companies have strict rules about banned dog breeds — some take each policy application on a case-by-case basis to decide whether to offer coverage. However, you may pay higher-than-average rates for homeowners insurance because you are a dog owner.

What dog breeds are most often banned?

Many companies that have a ban list the same dog breeds. The breeds most often banned include: 

  • Pit bulls
  • Doberman pinschers
  • Rottweilers
  • Chow Chows
  • Wolf hybrids
  • Presa Canarios
  • Akitas
  • German shepherds 
  • Huskies

Whether a homeowners insurance company bans your dog breed depends on a case-by-case basis. Some companies have long lists of dog breeds it refuses to insure, while others don’t have a list.

The table below shows dog bite statistics in the U.S. from the 1980s through 2014. These statistics often influence the conclusions certain insurance companies draw concerning safe vs. unsafe breeds.

Top 30 Dog Bite Statistics by Breed (1982–2014)
RankBreed of DogNumber of Attacks Annually
3German shepherd113
4Bullmastiff (Presa Canario)111
5Wolf hybrid85
11Pitbull/Rott. mix56
12German shepherd mix45
13Pitbull/Lab mix43
14Great Dane37
15Pit bull boxer mix35
17Labrador mix27
19Pit mix unknown22
20Cane Corso/Italian Mastiff21
21Blue heeler20
22Bulldog (English)20
23Rottweiler/GSD mix18
25Pitbull/GSD mix15
26Australian blue heeler13
27Saint Bernard12
28Australian Shepherd11
29German shepherd/Lab mix11
30Golden retriever11
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While the table shows the dog breeds most often responsible for homeowners insurance claims at the top, many experts agree that breed discrimination is not an effective way to prevent dog bites or attacks.

Is homeowners insurance more expensive with a dog?

Homeowners insurance for dog owners may be more expensive than your area’s average home insurance premium, though rates vary based on several factors. 

Some of the most common factors that impact a person’s homeowners rates include:

  • Location
  • Home price
  • Coverage amount
  • Home’s age and condition
  • Credit score
  • Safety features
  • Deductible

The table below shows the average annual homeowners insurance premium in each state.

Average Annual Homeowners Insurance Rates by State
StateAverage Annual Rates
District of Columbia$1,235
New Hampshire$972
New Jersey$1,192
New Mexico$1,017
New York$1,309
North Carolina$1,086
North Dakota$1,253
Rhode Island$1,551
South Carolina$1,269
South Dakota$1,202
West Virginia$940
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While rates may be different from what the table lists for your state, the premiums above should give you a better idea of how much homeowners insurance may cost where you live.

If you are a dog owner, your rates may be higher than your state’s average when you get quotes from different companies. The best way to find cheap homeowners insurance rates when you own a dog is to compare quotes from companies in your area.

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How can dog owners find the best homeowners insurance?

To find the best insurance as a dog owner, you can consider the options listed below.

  • Shop around for coverage from multiple insurance companies. You may find one company offers the coverage you want at a much lower price than competitors.
  • Fence your dog in, and consider enrolling your dog in obedience or socialization classes. Some insurance companies will consider these extra precautions.
  • Purchase a separate liability policy for your dog. A liability policy for your pet can cost anywhere from $100 to $1,000 annually, but it may be worth it.

Though rates may be higher for dog owners, there are still ways to find the best homeowners insurance at a low price.

Homeowners Insurance for Dog Owners: The Bottom Line

Homeowners insurance is crucial for dog owners, as it provides the necessary liability coverage you need if your dog harms or injures someone. After purchasing a homeowners policy, you should inform your insurance company immediately if you get a dog.

Some companies refuse to offer homeowners insurance to individuals who own certain dog breeds. If you own a pit bull, Rottweiler, or Chow Chow, you may have a difficult time finding proper homeowners insurance. 

You can shop for coverage with multiple companies to try and find some that cover your dog breed. Additionally, you can compare quotes to find the cheapest coverage in your area

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by insurance experts.

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

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