May 30, 2023

Why Are Dogs a Factor When Buying Home Insurance?

find affordable home insurance with pet

Homeowners Insurance and what dog owners need to know before shopping, especially if your dogs are of certain breeds.

If you own a dog, then you may need to worry about your Homeowners Insurance Company’s policies.

Most of these companies will either raise your insurance premiums based on whether you have a dog or not, or they might even deny granting you an insurance claim, which is worse. Here are some reasons as to why dogs are a factor in acquiring a Homeowners Insurance.

The Important Questions

In applying for Homeowner’s Insurance while having a pet at home, such as a dog, the following specifics might be asked of you:

Breed of Dog

A common deciding factor whether the insurance company will consider your pet or not will be its breed. This is because some dog breeds might have more tendencies toward violent behavior than others. The most common dog breeds that will likely get you high insurance premiums are:

  • German Shepherds
  • Pit Bulls
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Japanese Akitas
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Rottweilers


How big or small your dog is could also have an impact to the insurance, as some of these companies will be cautious about giving out insurance to people who own big dogs that might potentially be a threat to the neighborhood, especially if they are not trained properly. Toy breeds, on the other hand, are most likely going to be okay, since they are generally meant for indoor companionship.


The temperament of a dog is also a big factor for insurance companies. If they see that you have a dog that is under a list of breeds with volatile temperaments, there is a chance that they will not approve your request for home insurance. This is because there is a higher chance of property damage for dogs that are prone to aggressive behavior when not trained properly.  

Therefore, it is important that before you apply for homeowner’s Insurance, if you have a dog or pet, you should train it thoroughly first to avoid being a neighborhood nuisance.

Health Issues

Sometimes, a concern for the dog’s health could be a factor in the insurance application. Most companies may want you to be a more responsible pet owner and only feed just the right amount of dog food to avoid obesity (or malnutrition) and possibly behavioral problems. An improperly fed dog, such as one that is obese, might also be just as dangerous as a big dog altogether, and insurance companies will mostly put the blame on you, as the owner.

Are the Dog Breed Policies a Bad Thing?

Most homeowners and pet owners agree that dog breeds should not be discriminated. Here are the reasons why:

home insurance with dogs in the house

Every Dog Breed can be Trained

Just because you have a Pit Bull doesn’t mean it will destroy your neighbor’s garden and hurt their children – it’s all in the training and handling of the owner. Maintaining a good temperament for a dog, regardless of breed, is always a possible thing – just a little more difficult with the breeds we listed above. However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible!

Low Adoption Rate for Certain Breeds

Some people are also under the impression that they should adopt dogs that are less likely to pose a nuisance for home insurance company policies. Many decide to adopt based on the preconceived notion that a certain dog breed won’t cause any major damages to their home. However, any dog breed tends to become destructive if not trained properly.

The downside to all this is that many dogs with good temperaments, who just happened to end up in shelters, are ignored for adoption because people think they might destroy their property in the future. When adopting a dog, you should consider why you want to help the creature rather than calculate the premiums affected by their breed.

Most Breeds are Mixed

Nowadays, many people mix breeds together in an attempt to break free from diseases and certain health issues that have been hereditary in a dog’s genetic line. It is difficult to determine the original breeds of mixed breed dogs without genetic testing. Insurance companies are not always pet experts, but they sometimes discriminate based on the appearance of a dog.

Some Breeds Received a Bad Reputation

Some breeds just aren’t that lucky. The media needed a fall guy in the doggie world, so they usually use breeds such as Dobermans, Rottweilers, Pitbull’s, and American Bulldogs as examples of highly aggressive dogs. I agree that they really look formidable, but they are as adorable as a kitten once they have been trained according to their temperament.

The most commonly singled out dog breed today is the Pitbull. Because of the many sensationalized attacks, they are banned in several countries and most of the United Kingdom. The sad part about this is that they are always put down because not many homes are willing to foster and retrain them.

dogs and home insurance

What can I do about it?

If your insurance provider denies your application, or if they put the  high premiums on your account, there’s no need to give up your dog! Here are a couple of things you can do:

Get a Vet Certificate

Most companies will require you to get a certificate from your local veterinarian regarding the important details about the dog, such as the breed, health history and the like.

Get Obedience Training

Your dog could go through an official obedience training center and earn a certificate as well. In this way, if you ever own one of the breeds that companies might be scared of, you can show them that your dog behaves properly and there is less to worry about.

Get a Home Visit Inspection

Before an insurance provider approves your application, their agent and representatives may visit your home for risk assessment. They will check to see what kind of dog you have and determine if they pose a threat to your home, family, or the community. These visits will include the assessment of your house structure and if it is pet-friendly. To ensure that your application is approved, reassure the insurance provider that you have taken every precaution to make your house a safe environment, regardless of which dog breed you have.

Try Another Company

When all is said and done, you can always try asking another company that is perhaps more likely to accept your dog breed. Just ensure that you meet their requirements when you apply, as different companies can have different standards.


In the long run, dogs are truly a factor if you decide to get Homeowner’s Insurance. But with that said, you shouldn’t give up your dog just yet! Find an insurance provider that is willing to approve your application even if you own a dog. Because the United States has many homes that own pets, it’s highly likely that you will find the ideal provider for you, your family, and your pet.

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John Espenschied is a long-time veteran of the insurance industry. He's worked with thousands of clients over the years, helping to protect their personal and business needs. John's goal is to provide the best advice possible to assist customers in saving money while protecting their property and securing their financial future.
He truly enjoys helping others and takes great satisfaction in providing top-notch customer service. When he's not working, John has fun spending time with his family, golfing, bike riding, and blogging on insurance topics.