Pitbull Coverage Under Home Insurance

Increasingly more claims are occurring under the liability coverage on home insurance policies. As a result, insurance underwriters are expanding restrictions with regard to liability coverage, particularly liability coverage applying to injury to others by animals.

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Dogs are of concern because, in 2013, more than one/third of all liability claims involved dogs, for a total of $483 million dollars according to the Insurance Information Institute. Home insurance policies usually provide coverage for dog bite legal liability to the limits of the home insurance policy – ordinarily $100,000 to $300,000.

If the loss is higher than the limits of liability, the home owner or renter will have to pay the amount over and above the limits.

In an effort to limit this type of liability, insurance companies are beginning to scrutinize pets more carefully. First, they examine the history of the animal(s) involved.

If a dog has bitten someone once, insurance underwriters consider that it may have established a pattern of aggression.

Second, the underwriters look at the history of the breed of dog. Insurance companies may refuse to write home insurance if you own a breed of dog considered’ aggressive’.

home insurance pitbullTypically, these breeds are as follows:

  • Pit bulls
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • Chau Chaus
  • Rottweiler
  • Wolf hybrids
  • Coyote hybrids

It might be noted that even though families regard their dogs, no matter what breed as pets of good standing in society, insurance companies look at historic data to make judgments about animals.

The underwriters consider, too, that after a pet has bitten one individual it may be prone to continue the habit. Therefore, if your dog has a history of being aggressive, you are more likely to have difficulty obtaining home insurance coverage.

The insurance company may request that you sign a waiver to limit the company’s liability for dog incidents.

This will place the onus for any injuries caused by your dog onto you, the owner. To protect yourself against this type of liability loss, an umbrella policy would be a good purchase.

Umbrella policies have a lower limit of coverage, but can prevent total financial devastation.

Comparison-Shop for Insurance

Some insurance companies do not have the restrictions on breeds of dogs that others might have.

For this reason, it is worth comparison-shopping for premiums and coverage.

Liability Insurance Coverage

Personal liability coverage provides protection for you against the vagaries of lawsuits for incidents that occur because of actions by your family, pets, or on the premises, which you control.

When requesting a quotation, be certain to mention the breeds and types of pets that you have to ensure that the insurance company knows of the presence of possible risks.

Such items as swimming pools, trampolines, and playground equipment should be mentioned to the insurance company.

The more clear and frank you are with your insurance company, the less likely you are to have a claim for which you do not have coverage.

Dwelling and Contents Coverage

There are types of coverage included under the physical damage coverage of your home insurance policy. You need to evaluate these coverages to make certain that the amounts and perils are adequate to ensure protection.

rates for home insuranceOrdinarily coverage is divided as follows:

  • Building or dwelling coverage is set by the owner. Usually the building coverage is set at 80% of the replacement cost of your dwelling. Determine this by using one of the available free replacement cost calculators or by consulting with your insurance agent.
  • Other structure coverage is usually set at 10% of the building coverage and covers damages to fences, freestanding garages, tool sheds, or guest cottages.
  • Content coverage, at 50% of the building coverage, reimburses you for the value of your possessions, including furniture, appliances, electronics, and clothing.
  • Loss of use, at 20% of the coverage, pays for necessary living expenses if you have to move from your home temporarily due to one of the perils covered.

Perils are the sources of damage to your home and contents that are covered under your insurance policy. Ordinarily perils covered are subject to the Special Homeowners form and are as follows:

  • Fire, smoke, lightning, and explosion
  • Windstorm, hail, vehicular damage, or civil unrest
  • Theft, vandalism, trees, and other falling objects
  • Weight of snow, ice, and sleet
  • Freezing, rupturing, as well as sudden and accidental overflow of plumbing, heating, and air conditioning systems
  • Sudden and accidental overflowing of an appliance is also covered

These perils are subject to the deductible, which you choose. Replacement cost coverage is recommended to avoid being penalized for wear and tear on systems and articles insured.

An important note: Flood insurance and earthquake insurance is not part of the coverage provided in a home insurance policy.

Consult your insurance agent about these coverages. A website you might look at is FloodSmart, a government flood insurance.

Specific Contents Coverage

Certain articles are limited in coverage, particularly for theft. These articles should be appraised to make sure that their value is not more than the amount covered.

Jewelry, furs, some electronics, and collectibles have limits that can leave you without enough insurance coverage.

Particularly consider the valuation of diamond wedding sets.

Shop for Insurance Companies as well as Coverage

The stability and complaint ratios for the insurance company you choose can make a difference in your coverage.

An insurance company with a poor financial rating may be less willing to settle claims than one that is well financed.

Complaint ratios are collected by state insurance departments reflecting the number and types of claims received by the departments about claims and other problems.

Sites that you may wish to check are as follows:

Evaluating the Quotations you Receive

best homeowners insurance offersCompare the quotations you get by comparing the premiums, the coverage, perils covered, and status of the insurance company.

If you are concerned about coverage for a particular dog, be sure to ask if the insurance company will provide coverage for that particular breed.

Also, ask about such things as trampolines or pools that may exist on your property.

Each year, plan to compare coverage and quotations just as you did here.

Ask questions of your insurance agency if you are wondering about anything.

Read your policy once it is issued to ascertain that you have the coverage you purchased.

Be sure you compare rates using our FREE tool below!