Dogs can impact home insurance

When you search for New Jersey home insurance quotes, you may find some surprises and one of them is that you may be asked about your dog ownership. It seems like a strange question, but really, it isn’t. Dogs can pose a potential bite risk, making you liable for medical expenses or even damages. That means your insurer will have to get involved.


Your dog may be treated like a family member or even lick the hand of an agent, but when a policy is being written, it is all about risk. How likely is it that the company will have to pay out on a claim? These data can be found in actuarial tables that insurers use.


Most people are unaware that statistically, certain dog breeds are bigger bite risks than others. That is research done on claims filed and provided to companies so that they can determine whether to cover a dog owner or not, or if to increase a premium cost. As a result, there is an unofficial list of dogs that tend to have more bites reported.


Do you have a Malamute? A Doberman or Husky? How about a Presa Canario, Pit Bull German shepherd, Great Dane or Akita? You may also find a Rottweiler on that unofficial list.


It’s not that insurers are discriminating against certain breeds, just that some breeds tend to cost them more money, the risk of a claim is higher and so their owners are more difficult to cover. Policies are priced on the basis of risk, pure and simple. How big a risk are you as a dog owner?


Either a company will refuse coverage outright or they will charge a higher premium. Some companies will require you to put your dog through a training course or for you to muzzle him or her when they are around people.  The whole idea is to prevent a bite and the large claims that could result.


Even having a mixed breed isn’t an exception. If your mixed breed dog has any of these breeds in the mix, they may be subject to the same restrictions.


Do you have a wolf-hybrid dog? The same thing is true. These are higher-risk pets, which probably comes as no surprise.


Make sure you look into this before you sign on the dotted line. Make sure you know all of the ramifications before you have to file a bite claim.