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Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover My Dog?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020

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beware of dog

Insurance Q&A: “Does homeowner’s insurance cover my dog?”

First off, it’s important to note the difference between coverage for a dog and liability coverage for the acts of a dog.

Simply put, homeowner’s insurance policies will not cover injury or sickness for a family pet. You would have to obtain pet insurance if you want to cover Fido’s own health.

As far as liability coverage for bodily injury or property damage your household pet causes to others, you may or may not be covered.

Read Your Policy, Consider the Dog Breed

Of course, this will depend on the specifics of your policy, the company who insures you, and depending on where you live, the type of dog you own.

Your insurer or independent agent should ask if you own a dog when providing a homeowner’s insurance quote as it can be a significant factor.

It is in your best interest to be honest and upfront since any misrepresentations on your insurance application may result in a voided policy or denial of coverage in the event of a insurance claim.

Note that the majority of insurers will cover most dog breeds.

Some Dog Breeds May Not Be Covered

However, some insurers may deny an application if a specific dog breed is present in the home, depending on state laws or their own underwriting guidelines.

You can probably guess which breeds are most commonly excluded: Pit Bulls, German Shepherds and various other protective/guard dog breeds.

Same might go for Akitas, Cane Corsos, Chows, Presa Canario, Rottweilers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Wolf Hybrids, and so on.

Conversely, there’s a decent chance they won’t care if you own a Labradoodle or a Bichon Frise.

If you already have an insurance policy and are considering obtaining a dog that might fit the “vicious” breed category, it’s best to inform your insurer ahead of time.

You will certainly want to make them aware, as the resulting insurance premium may be too high for your budget and cause you to rethink the purchase, or worst case, result in a claim being denied if something were to happen.

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