How your dog can affect home insurance
Ohio is green and verdant with plenty of land for a big dog to run, and big dogs are favorites with families who have property. But if you’re looking for Ohio home insurance quotes, you may find a little bump in the road if you have one of these bigger breeds:
It’s not their size that is a problem. It is their breed and the propensity of their breed to bite: the average number of bites reported for each of the breeds. This may surprise you, especially if your dog has a gentle disposition, but these are some of the breeds whose owners most frequently file bite claims. As you can imagine, insurers want to avoid the risk of claim, so when they identify statistical patterns in claim filing, they take notice.
It’s hard to take a dog on a case by case basis, so generalizations must apply. That’s why owners of these breeds and a few others considered “high bite risk dogs,” may find themselves turned down for bite coverage. Other companies may write a policy but charge more for it. And still others put a few requirements in place before they will write a policy for an owner of these breeds: owners may have to take their dogs to a serious training class or may have to muzzle them when they are around people.
Dog bites can be costly claims because they involve medical expenses up to and including hospitalization. In some cases, lawsuits have been filed and damages awarded. Dog bites cost companies some half a billion dollars annually. That is not a happy scenario for anyone, including the company writing the policy.
Even dogs of mixed heritage are treated this way if they have one of these breeds in their lineage. And if your dog isn’t on this list, be aware that the list changes from year to year as it is updated with the most recent data. Making it even more complicated, it’s not an “official” list, just guidelines that some companies follow.
Dogs bite more than four million people each year, so this could be costly situation for companies that write policies, and it is usually smaller carriers that restrict coverage because a big claim loss could mean big problems for them. Be sure to check before you decide on a policy.