Before you bite the messenger, you should know that I am a dog lover and have experience with owning a dangerous breed dog. I’m also an insurance agent and know how risky and costly owning a dangerous dog can be. So, this is a tough subject for me to write about. My heart goes out to all dog owners, especially those that rescue dogs that need a loving home. However there’s no arguing the statistics that show the economic impact the dangerous dog breeds have on homeowners insurance losses. Before I share with you the 16 dangerous dog breeds banned by homeowners insurance companies, let me share with you why.
Dog bites account for nearly 1/3 of all homeowners insurance claims and the average cost of a claim is over $30,000.
Most dog bite claims are minor, however the cost of those claims that cause permanent disfigurement or worse can easily go into the six and seven figures.
Many argue that it’s not the breed that makes a dog dangerous but how a dog is trained and treated that causes a dog to attack. I would side with this argument with some reservations. We have seen the Dog Whisperer, Cesar Milan on TV transforming some of the most vicious dogs into loving pets. But not everyone is as highly skilled in training dogs as Caesar Milan. And statistics on homeowners’ insurance claims prove that certain dog breeds are the cause of the majority of dog bite claims.
Insurance is all about numbers. The many pull together to cover the losses of the few. When losses increase everybody pays more money. Insurance companies are in the business to make money. They analyze their losses and avoid high risk. When it comes to auto insurance, risky drivers with poor driving records pay higher premiums. It’s easier to rate a driver who gets a lot of speeding tickets and determine their likelihood of causing an accident that will cost the insurance company money.
Homeowners insurance is different. If there are no claims, the insurance company doesn’t know how much risk they are exposed to. That is why when you buy a homeowners insurance policy you are asked about the condition of the home, “Is there a trampoline?”, “Do you have a home based business where customers come onto your property?” and “Do you have a dog and if so, what breed is it?”
Insurance companies do know what dog breeds cost them the most money and that is why they have a dangerous dog banned list.
Although the dangerous dog banned list varies from one insurance company to another, here are the most common breeds:
Akita, Alaskan Malamute, American Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Bullmastiff, Chow, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Italian Mastiff/Cane Corso, Pit Bull, Dingo, Presa Canario/Canary Dog/Canary Island Dog, Rottweiler, Siberian Husky, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, any wolf hybrid, or any mix of these breeds.
Many people today, myself included are rescuing dogs. I was fortunate to adopt a mild tempered and loving friend, but sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to get when you rescue a dog and you have no idea how its behavior may change as it gets older. As an insurance agent, it’s my job to help you understand how you are protected and how to make decisions that will keep you insured at the lowest cost.
Thank you for your business and referrals!
PS There are many dogs and cats that need homes. If you and your family have a place for a new family member, please visit your local Humane Society or Shelter. Believe me, it could make a huge difference in your lives!
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