Homeowners Insurance and a New Dog

Expect your rates to go up when it comes to homeowners insurance and a new dog. A dog is a long term risk increase for an insurance company. Puppies can stain carpet, dogs might chew furniture or walls, and there is the risk of your dog causing injury to someone else or their property. Use our guide below to learn how to save money on home insurance with a new dog.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Nov 22, 2020

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Before you get a new dog, consider how it will impact your homeowners insurance quotes. Some breeds are such high risks that insurance companies may not even consider you for coverage, and all dogs are potential hazards that will affect your premiums. You are welcome to own any dog you choose, but consider the insurance implications and costs as part of that ownership.

Having a dog is a long term risk increase for the insurance company. Puppies can stain carpet or even cause damage to hardwood floors before they are house-broken, the dog might chew on your furniture or tear down your window coverings, and there will be a danger of the dog causing injury to someone for as long as the animal lives. The insurance company has to consider the long term implications of the dog as part of their calculations for your premiums, and that risk could go up quickly if even a single dog-related claim is filed.

All dogs can turn out to be destructive, from the smallest puppy to the largest outside dog. Chihuahuas are known to have hereditary urinary problems which could ruin clothing, furniture and flooring. Many breeds of dogs are notorious diggers and could potential destroy not only a flower garden but your irrigation system or other buried utilities. For the insurance company, owning one dog is a substantial increase in risk, and owning multiple dogs drives the risks up to a near a certainty. You are not being penalized by your insurance company for owning a dog, you are being charged an amount that is considered fair to cover your share of the responsibility for potential dangers.

Some breeds of dog are more violent than others. In some locations, a homeowner who owns bulldogs may find it difficult or even impossible to get home insurance from insurance companies. Because the risk of physical injury to the family members as well as anyone else who may come on the property is so high, regular insurance is simply not enough to protect against the risks. You may be able to mitigate this cost a little by keeping the dogs in a kennel or having a fenced yard, but you cannot
completely the risk no matter what you do.

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