Owning a dog can be very rewarding, but may come with its share of risks, especially if your dog bites someone. Approximately 4.5 million people are victims of dog bites per year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although your N.C. homeowner’s insurance typically provides liability coverage for dog bites, up to the acquired limits of liability, you may find yourself in a financial bind if you are the owner of a certain breed(s) deemed as “dangerous.” Before you purchase or adopt a dog, you may want to reflect on what is considered to be “dangerous” dog breeds.
Some insurance carriers will refuse homeowners coverage for those types of dog owners or will impose a higher N.C. homeowners insurance premium to reflect the potential risk of being hit with a dog-bite injury claim. When purchasing homeowners insurance, it is important to convey (even if not asked by the insurer) the type of dog you own should you ever be faced with a dog-bite injury occurring at your home.
At a family gathering at your home, one of your guests, a 10-year old, ran up to your pet dog (pit-bull) while he was eating, and the dog quickly snapped at the child and bit the child on the face. Your dog has never shown any previous aggression, but now you are faced with a a significant dog-bite claim, probable facial scarring, soaring medical bills and plastic surgery that could result in costs that would surpass your limits of liability under your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Your liability limits are $100,000 and you have been advised all damages above and beyond your limits of liability are YOUR responsibility. Can you afford to pay for this potential financial loss out of your own pocket? Not only that, but NOW you may be faced with a premium increase, a non-renewal of your N.C. homeowner’s insurance policy, or an established exclusion for that particular dog.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, insurance carriers paid out $675 million for claims arising from dog bites or other injuries linked to dogs, so it’s no surprise insurance companies are weighing up the risks of insuring those who own certain breeds that are recognized as more dangerous than others.
Dangerous Dog Breeds Making the List
Some insurers don’t use a dangerous dog list when considering insurance premiums, while others do; however, it is important to share information with your insurer regarding any pets you own. Below is the list of dogs that are deemed to be dangerous and may cause issues when trying to get a N.C. homeowners insurance policy, but not limited to:
- Great Danes
- Pill Bull Terriers
- Siberian Huskies
- Doberman Pinschers
- German Shepherds
- Staffordshire Terriers
- Alaskan Malamutes
If you own or plan to own any of these type of dog breeds, it is recommended you contact your local N.C. independent insurance agent to discuss the potential risks or ask any questions you may have.
Dog bites pose a serious concern for insurance companies and in an effort to minimize risks, some companies may charge higher insurance premiums based on your specific dog breed, may write the policy with an exclusion pertaining to that breed of dog, may request the dog owner to participate in or utilize dog training classes and/or restraints, or simply not insure dog owners at all. Contact our offices TODAY at Twin City Insurance so that we may answer any and all questions you may have regarding your dog or potential pet.