What Affect Does a Dog Bite Claim Have on Your Insurance Premiums?


Quick Answer

Insurers may increase homeowners' insurance premiums after paying off a policyholder's dog bite claim, according to The New York Times. In addition, the insurer may exclude the dog from coverage under the policy, particularly if the injuries caused by the dog are severe. Some insurers exclude certain dog breeds from coverage.

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Full Answer

Owning a dog may increase the rate paid for homeowners’ insurance regardless of whether the dog bites someone or not, notes Esurance. For dogs known to pose a threat to others, insurers may increase premiums, require more liability coverage or even deny coverage altogether. Although some insurers do not ask about dogs when writing policies, dog bite injury claims may result in adverse actions against the homeowners’ policy.

Breed may play a key role in determining home insurance rates, according to Esurance. For example, homeowners who own dogs from muscular breeds such as chow chows or Dobermans may find that their insurance companies are unwilling to offer coverage or may restrict the coverage to specifically not cover dog bite injuries.

Data from State Farm Insurance and the Insurance Information Institute suggests that one-third of all homeowner liability claims arise from dog bites, reports The New York Times. As a group, insurers paid more than $489 million in dog bite claims in 2012.

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