As a pet owner, you consider your furry friend as part of the family. But did you know that owning a pet, particularly specific breeds of dogs, can influence your homeowner’s insurance rates? At Culbertson Agency, we believe in helping Florida homeowners understand all the factors that affect their insurance costs – including their pets.
The Impact of Pets on Your Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance policies typically cover liability for injuries caused by pets. However, some insurers may increase premiums or even deny coverage to homeowners who own certain breeds of dogs perceived as high-risk. This is because these breeds are statistically more likely to bite and cause injury, leading to costly insurance claims.
In 2020, the average cost of a dog bite claim was over $50,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Therefore, it’s understandable why insurance companies might be cautious.
How to Ensure Adequate Coverage as a Pet Owner
If you’re a pet owner, here are some steps you can take to ensure you have adequate insurance coverage:
Disclose Your Pet to Your Insurer:
Always let your insurance company know if you have a pet. If you don’t disclose this information and your pet causes an injury, your insurer may deny the claim.
Consider Umbrella Liability Coverage:
If you own a breed that’s considered high-risk, you may want to consider purchasing umbrella liability coverage. This provides an extra layer of liability protection beyond the limits of your standard homeowners policy.
Invest in Dog Training:
Some insurers may offer discounts or be more willing to provide coverage if your dog has completed a certified training program.
Maintain a Safe Environment:
Keeping your pets secured and reducing situations where a bite could occur can help prevent potential claims.
Remember, rules can vary significantly between insurance companies. Some might not cover certain breeds at all, while others may determine coverage based on a dog’s history of aggression.
Owning a pet shouldn’t be a barrier to securing comprehensive homeowners insurance. At Culbertson Agency, we’re committed to helping Florida homeowners navigate these complexities. We can discuss your situation and find an insurance solution that protects you, your home, and your beloved pet.
Contact us today to ensure you have the right coverage for your needs.
Why You Should Disclose Your Pet to Your Insurer
Your homeowners insurance policy typically covers liability for injuries caused by pets, including dogs. If a dog bites someone on your property and you’re found liable, homeowners insurance can help cover the resulting medical bills and legal expenses.
However, some insurance providers maintain a “breed list” which determines which breeds they will or will not cover. If you own a breed considered high-risk for causing injury, it may affect your premium, or in some cases, your insurer might refuse to provide coverage.
If you don’t disclose your pet’s breed or bite history when applying for a policy or updating it, and your pet causes an injury, your insurer may deny the claim.
What Type of Dog Raises a Homeowner’s Insurance Premium?
Certain breeds, often those perceived as more aggressive or dangerous, can raise your homeowner’s insurance premium.
These breeds typically include Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds, among others.
However, this can vary significantly between insurance companies, with some insurers considering a dog’s individual behavior rather than breed.
Does Having a Cat Increase Your Home Insurance?
Unlike certain dog breeds, cats are not typically known to increase homeowners insurance premiums. This is primarily because cats pose less of a risk when it comes to liability claims.
However, if your cat causes damage to your home (for example, by causing a fire), this could potentially lead to a claim on your policy.
Why Does Homeowners Insurance Ask About Pets?
Insurers ask about pets to assess the risk they pose. Dogs, for instance, are responsible for a significant number of insurance claims each year, particularly those related to bites and other injuries. By knowing what pets you have, insurers can adjust your premiums accordingly to reflect this risk.
At Culbertson Agency, we understand that your pet is part of your family. We’re here to guide you through the complexities of homeowners insurance and ensure you, your property, and your beloved pet are adequately covered.
Contact us today to learn more about our comprehensive insurance solutions.