Breed Restrictions: What Dogs Will Insurance Not Cover?

Filed in Dog Insurance on June 9, 2020

what dogs will insurance not coverIf you’re a homeowner, having insurance is a must. It protects you financially if your home is damaged or if someone else gets hurt while on your property.

If you have a dog, many homeowners insurance companies will even offer to cover incidents related to your pet under their liability coverage.

However, it becomes increasingly difficult to obtain this type of coverage (or insurance in general) when you have a dog that is considered a “high-risk” or “dangerous” breed by insurance companies. But you may be asking: What dogs will insurance not cover?

We contacted some of the top insurance providers in the United States to find out which breeds, if any, are on their blacklists.

Why Breed Restrictions Aren’t Posted on Insurance Companies’ Websites

Before we get into our lists, there’s some information you’ll want to know about how insurance policies are determined.

First of all, the laws governing dog bite liability vary by state. This means your policy will be affected by the state you live in.

Similarly, liability coverage itself will vary by state. Not only that, most insurance companies don’t have any overarching policies in terms of breed restrictions.

Instead, they have a number of entities (often referred to as underwriters) working with them who determine your policy based on where you live and your specific situation.

This is why insurance companies don’t simply state their breed restrictions on their websites: restrictions vary depending on where you live and who is writing your policy.

All of the information in this article was taken directly from conversations with customer service representatives and insurance agents.

However, you may still want to contact any companies you’re interested in to learn more about potential restrictions in your area.

Insurance Companies With Breed Restrictions

Red slash through drawing of pitbull representing breed restrictionsWe will now discuss the top companies that have breed restrictions including what dogs insurance will not cover:

1. American Family Insurance

An agent for American Family Insurance said that you are allowed to own any dog.

However, dogs that are considered “high risk” breeds would reduce your liability limit to $25,000.

The breeds counted as high risk were German Shepherds, Akitas, Pit Bulls, Doberman Pinschers, Chow Chows and Rottweilers.

2. Erie Insurance

According to an agent from Erie Insurance, Erie will not provide homeowners insurance to people who own the following breeds:

  • Akita
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Pit Bull
  • Presa Canario
  • Rottweiler
  • Sharpei
  • Wolf Hybrid

Other breeds are fine, but they cannot have a history of aggression.

3. Nationwide

Nationwide will offer you homeowners insurance as long as your dog doesn’t have a bite history; otherwise, you will be declined. However, Nationwide will not cover the following breeds:

  • American Staffordshire Terriers
  • American Pit Bull Terriers
  • Chow Chows
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Presa Canarios
  • Rottweilers
  • Staffordshire Bull Terriers
  • Wolf Hybrids

4. Travelers

Travelers refuses to offer homeowners insurance to anyone who owns the following breeds:

  • Akitas
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • American Bulldogs
  • American Staffordshire Terriers
  • Chow Chows
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Mastiffs (any breed)
  • Pit Bull breeds
  • Rottweilers
  • Wolf Hybrids
  • Mixed breed dogs that include any of the above breeds

Surprisingly, the German Shepherd Dog is not on their “blacklist” of unacceptable dog breeds.

Various dogs with blue background

5. Liberty Mutual Insurance

Liberty Mutual may or may not have breed restrictions depending on the location.  However, they won’t offer coverage to anyone whose dog has a history of aggression.

I spoke to a representative and he said they will ask you questions about the dog’s history.  So for example, if you own a Pit Bull, they might ask how long you’ve owned it, whether they’ve been trained to fight, etc.

If your dog were to hurt someone while insured by Liberty Mutual, then Liberty Mutual may choose not to renew your policy.

6. Progressive

Progressive has a relationship with eight different companies that write homeowners insurance policies.

After speaking with them, Progressive has their own breed restrictions, which they will not disclose. In addition, some of the companies they work with may also impose their own breed restrictions whereas others may not.

Progressive will give your information (and your dog’s) to each company only if you comply with their breed list.

Two people have commented on this blog that their Pit Bull and Belgian Malinois were both denied based on their breed.

Like many other insurance providers, if your dog were to hurt someone, your liability limit may decrease or your dog might be dropped from coverage altogether regardless of the breed.

Insurance Companies Without Breed Restrictions

1. Allstate

Allstate does not have any breed restrictions. However, they will not provide coverage to owners of dogs that have a history of aggressive behavior, no matter the breed.

2. Amica Mutual Insurance

Amica does not exactly have a blacklist, but the company is still wary of certain breeds like German Shepherds, Rottweilers, and Pit Bulls.

Instead of immediately saying no to a certain breed, Amica may choose to send out an inspector who will visit you and your dog to determine if the dog is a liability or not.

Many insurance companies will immediately refuse to cover homeowners with dogs that have a history of aggression.

However, Amica is willing to consider these dogs if they have gone through behavior modification (and again, if the inspectors feel the dogs are safe).

Wolf hybrids are the only dogs that Amica is absolutely not willing to consider for coverage.

3. Farmers Insurance

Farmers Insurance does not have any breed restrictions; however, if your dog has a bite history then they will refuse to write a policy for you.

Any dog with no bite history is eligible to be covered under liability insurance.

If the dog has any incident, whether it is a bite or knocking someone over and hurting them, then the dog will be removed from your policy.

4. State Farm

State Farm is the one insurance company that actually does have information about breed restrictions on its website.

State Farm says that its underwriters will not even ask you what breed of dog you own.

However, like other companies, State Farm may deny coverage if your dog has a history of biting.

Insurance Companies With Partners Who May Have Breed Restrictions

For the following companies, they work with different partners to get quotes, so depending on the location and their partners, they may have breed restrictions, but not always:

1. Geico

Geico also does not have any specific dog breed restrictions themselves, but they’re an agency who works with a number of partners.  Depending on the state and the partners, there may be breed restrictions.

A representative told me that for Florida, for example, their partners are very lenient and usually open to most breeds as long as no aggressive history. However, depending on the breed, there may be other restrictions such as a limit to the amount of liability coverage.  Others may raise the rate for certain breeds.

Conclusion: So What Dogs Will Insurance Not Cover?

The answer to this question depends on each individual insurance company and their policies.

If you own a breed that is typically considered “dangerous” or “high-risk,” then you’ll likely want to avoid American Family Insurance, Erie Insurance, Nationwide, and Travelers. These companies are more strict with their breed restrictions.

For Liberty Mutual, it will depend on your location and who ends up underwriting the policy.

Allstate, Amica, Farmers, Geico, Progressive, and State Farm do not have any specific breed restrictions. However, they may not cover you if your dog has a history of aggression.

If you can prevent your dog from hurting others either through obedience training or other methods, then you’ll have a much easier time getting homeowners insurance.

Let us know if you have any questions or comments below.

Comments (16)

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  1. lisa says:

    I just insured a house that I’m buying in North Carolina with Liberty Mutual and they asked about dog breed. They most certainly DO have breed restrictions, and write it into the policy. I put the policy in place for closing, as I don’t currently have any of their prohibited breeds, but I will be cancelling and going with another provider after closing.

    • Todd says:

      Thank you for clarifying that. I must have been given incorrect information or information limited to a specific location. I did just call Liberty Mutual and they told me that whether there are breed restrictions depends on the state and location. They also said that they do not underwrite all of their policies and sometimes use others, which also changes whether there are breed restrictions.

  2. Marcella says:

    I asked progressive for a renters quote and they denied me because I had a pitbull; and they listed about 8 other breeds they won’t give premiums for, this was last year. I can’t imagine homeowners being different.

    • ANGELA BLACK says:

      Progressive just ditched me for Homeowners because I have 2 dogs that “look like pitbulls,” despite no documentation of their breeds (they are mixed-breed rescues). They absolutely participate in breed discrimination – do not give them your money – what a garbage company.

  3. Ariana says:

    I will be getting a Doberman pinscher and listed myself as already having one and Progressive got me a policy with American Family and they said there was zero issue as long as the dog doesn’t have a bite history.

    ETA just realized you’re talking about renters insurance and I have no idea about the differences

    • Todd says:

      My article is actually regarding homeowner’s insurance, but I wanted to get further information. Previously, I was told by American Family Insurance that Doberman Pinschers were one of the high risk breeds that would limit liability to $25k. Do you have any limits on yours? If not, I will call the company and update my blog post.

  4. Darina says:

    Progressive Home Insurance said they will not cover my Belgian Malinois and will not tell me what their breed list consists of.

  5. Darina says:

    Progressive Home Insurance will not cover my Belgian Malinois and they will not tell me what the Breed List consists of.

    • Todd says:

      Thank you for the comment. I will check into this further to possibly update my information. Previously, I was told that there were no specific restrictions with them besides with some of the companies they work with.

  6. Kat says:

    Progressive is widely known to have strict breed restrictions and GEICO just denied my homeowners application because of a American Staffordshire Terrier with no bite history so I’d say this list needs some fact checking.

  7. Bryan says:

    I just attempted to get a quote from Progressive for home owners insurance and they would not even get me a quote when I mentioned that I have a mixed breed dog with no bite history who contains some pit bull. They referred me to some local company to attempt to get a quote through them, but the Progressive rep said they could not do anything beyond that as they have no wiggle room in their policy. Giant headache given I could have just mentioned any of the other 8 or 9 breeds that make up our dog…..

  8. LargeDogs4Me says:

    Want to point out that if you live in an apartment complex and have a disability and need a service or emotional support animal you CANNOT BE DENIED HOUSING per FHEO and HUD – breed restrictions do not apply at all unless the animal demonstrates aggressive behavior. You would need a letter from a medical provider.
    Also, there are better insurance companies that will insurance the “so called” dangerous breeds and even more research online documenting that is not the breed without discrimination.
    Also, look at your state regulations – some states have regulations that prevent breed and insurance restrictions.

  9. Tim Miller says:

    I signed up for Liberty Mutual online for our new home. It asked if we owned any dogs but didnt’ ask what breeds. We have a 8 yr old pit bull with no bite history but there were no questions on it about breeds or anything. The policy went into effect on the scheduled date.

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