Buyer · Family · Insurance · Pets

Dogs & Homeowners Insurance: What you Need to Know

Is Your Canine a Good Citizen?images

Dog is man’s best friend and many of us are willing to do anything for our pets. Did you know that the breed of your dog can affect your homeowner’s insurance and your eligibility for it? Because of costly lawsuits for specific breeds companies have adopted lists of dogs they will not accept. Most unacceptable breeds include: American Pit Bull terrier, American Staffordshire terrier, Staffordshire terrier, Chow Chow, Doberman Pinsher, Presa Canarios, Rottweiler, Wolf and Wolf hybrids. There has been a shift in the last few years and some companies have started to add German Shephard, Great Dane and Mastiffs to the list.

I myself have Rottweilers, and while there are companies out there who will insure my home, I lose liability coverage in the event my dog bites someone. It’s a big risk, if I’m sued I will have to pay out of pocket and if I cannot afford it my lifestyle is on the line. If you have adopted one of these breeds and not checked with your company, you too could be at risk of getting cancelled or not having coverage in the event of a bite related claim.

As a pet owner it’s our responsibility to raise our animals to behave and set a good example, but there are additional steps you can take to protect yourself and even get an exception made for your furry family member. Some companies are willing to make exceptions for pets that have the Canine Good Citizen certificate, Nationwide being one of those companies. The program was started in 1989 and is a 10 step test that the AKC recognizes as the golden standard for dog behavior. The program stresses responsible pet ownership and basic good manners for dogs. By receiving this certificate and placing your insurance with a company that recognizes it, you don’t forfeit or lose your liability protection.

For more details on the AKC Canine Good Citizen program you may visit:                                 

Nationwide’s Animal safety facts:

  • Injuries caused by animals are the second most frequent cause of emergency room visits each year.
  • There are 5+ million incidents involving animals annually.
  • 70% of dog bites are to children under 10 years of age, and 77% of the bites are to the facial area.
  • 77% of dog bites are from dogs owned by family and friends and take place in a familiar area.
  • 65% of serial attacks and 79% of rampage attacks (biting multiple people during one occurrence) are committed by Pit Bull breeds and Rottweilers.


Written by Pearl Rankin, Associate Agent at Nationwide on 9/29/2016

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