Your Dog May Impact Your Premium

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes.

The American Kennel Club has recognized a staggering 199 dog breeds. Despite that, all dogs—whether a Chihuahua or a bull mastiff—come from the same species, and you may forget that they descend from wolves. However, insurance companies haven’t forgotten the wild past of domesticated dogs, and it could impact your insurance premium.

When you purchase an insurance policy, you pay an insurance premium which is based on many factors. One of those factors is the likelihood that a policyholder could suffer a loss. The higher the risk of loss, the higher the premium. For example, policyholders with a pool or trampoline pay more than policyholders who do not have those amenities. How does that relate to dogs? Perhaps because of their wild, ferocious past, dogs are considered an additional risk by insurance companies which means they may cause your insurance premiums to increase.

Typically, a homeowners or renters policy will provide coverage for liability arising out of dog ownership—usually related to a bite. According to the Insurance Information Institute, liability claims related to dog bites and other dog-related injuries cost homeowners insurers $854 million in 2020. For that reason, if a dog has a higher risk of causing a loss, the premium will be impacted.

While all dogs are the same species, insurance companies address dogs in different ways. As such, many insurance companies will charge an increased premium based on the breed of a dog. Some even may exclude liability coverage for certain breeds of dog altogether. Typically, larger breeds (e.g., pit bulls, Rottweilers, German shepherds) will lead to higher premiums or excluded coverage. Other insurance companies may make decisions on a case-by-case basis, which are dependent not on the breed of the dog but on any actual, vicious propensities of an individual dog.

Do you have questions on how a dog might affect your homeowners or renters premium? Give our office a call today and we will be happy to assist you.


The above description provides a brief overview of the terms and phrases used within the insurance industry. These definitions are not applicable in all states or for all insurance and financial products. This is not an insurance contract. Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Please read your official policy for full details about coverages. These definitions do not alter or modify the terms of any insurance contract. If there is any conflict between these definitions and the provisions of the applicable insurance policy, the terms of the policy control.

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