The Dog Owner's Guide to Homeowners Insurance

May 21, 2024 1 min read

More than half of all American households have a dog, and almost all of them report that they consider their pets to be family, according to Spots.com. Most people fail to consider their dog when it comes to homeowners coverage, leaving them open to increased risk. Whether you’re in the market for a new home or a new best friend, it’s important to understand the insurance implications and know whether you’ll be covered in case of any dog-related damage to people and property.

Homeowners Insurance and Dogs: Frequently Asked Questions

The following FAQs can help you understand what’s covered, what isn’t and how to bridge that gap. 

Are Dogs Covered Under Homeowners Insurance?

When it comes to any injuries or medical bills for your dog, you’ll need a separate pet insurance policy like your own health insurance coverage. However, if your pet causes damage to another person or their property, the liability and medical payments portion of your homeowners policy will kick in for coverage, depending on your state and type of pet. If the injury or damage is within your homeowners liability coverage and limits, you will most likely be covered, but you may see a premium increase at the next renewal. There is also a chance that your home insurance company will decide the dog is too high a risk and will exclude the dog from future coverage entirely.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover High-Risk Dogs?

Depending on state regulations in the state where you live, the breed of your dog may affect your homeowner’s liability insurance. Some insurance companies have exclusions for specific dog breeds. Also, if your dog has a bite history, your insurance company may not be willing to provide liability coverage for future dog bites.  

How Much Liability Coverage Do I Need?

While the average cost of an insurance claim filed due to a dog bite is nearly $50,000, some claims for serious injuries could result in much higher settlements. Many homeowners choose a limit of $300,000 or higher and add umbrella or excess liability coverage. Make sure you are aware of the possibilities when considering the limits of liability coverage you should purchase on your home insurance policy.  Even if your dog has no bite history, you should still carry enough liability coverage to protect you and your assets from the possibility of your pet becoming aggressive and injuring someone.

Won’t My Umbrella Policy Cover Everything?

If you have an umbrella policy, your liability limits will provide greater levels of protection. Be sure to review your umbrella policy for any dog bite limitations. 

The Stress-Free Coverage You Need

If you’re worried about home insurance dog breed restrictions or want to review your coverage in case the unexpected happens, contact your local Farm Bureau agent. We can help provide peace of mind by ensuring you’re prepared.

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.

You May Also Like