Breed Restrictions: What Dogs Will Insurance Not Cover?

Filed in Dog Insurance on June 9, 2020

what dogs will insurance not coverIf you are 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.

Learn which breeds are excluded by top insurance companies.Insurance Companies With Breed Restrictions

We 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.

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

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. Geico

Geico also does not have any specific dog breed restrictions, and they will find an underwriter to create a policy that suits you and your dog.

Like most other companies, they will only decline coverage if your dog has a bite history.

5. Progressive

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

Some of these companies may impose breed restrictions whereas others may not.

Therefore, Progressive will give your information (and your dog’s) to each company and find the one that can offer you the best, least-breed-restrictive policy.

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.

6. 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.

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 (2)

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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 the policies and sometimes use others, which also changes whether there are breed restrictions.

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