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pit bull liability insurance

Pit Bull Liability Insurance

Across countless online forums and message boards regarding dog ownership and liability, tons of frustrated and panicked pit bull owners are asking one simple question — “How can I insure my beloved pet?”

While most homeowners insurance policies include pets in their coverage, almost all companies make exceptions for certain breeds that are considered “vicious,” and pit bulls are at the top of their list. If you are a pit bull owner or looking to adopt a pit bull, we have compiled this overview of pit bull ownership and the liabilities associated with this dog breed to help you navigate finding the proper liability insurance.

How Pit Bulls Affect Home Insurance

Though your dog is like a member of your family, dog accidents can still happen and put you at risk financially. Incidents may include a dog damaging your neighbor’s property or injuring a guest in your home. Dog bites cost homeowners insurance providers millions of dollars each year, and the average cost for a claim is on the rise.

While home insurance covers you for events that make you liable for personal or property damage, this damage may not be covered if it was caused by a certain dog breed. Certain breeds like pit bulls are considered more dangerous by many insurers, as they are large dogs and have a track record of aggression.

Pit Bulls Can Increase Your Home Insurance Rate

Depending on your insurance company, a pit bull can increase your home insurance premium. Whether you are informing your current insurance provider about a new pit bull or you are buying a new policy, your home insurance rate is likely to increase. The amount your home insurance rate will increase depends on your insurance company and your dog’s history.

In some states, breed blacklisting is outlawed. In these states, insurance companies are not allowed to cancel your coverage because of your dog’s breed. Beyond these states, most insurers are permitted to deny coverage based on the dog breed, and pit bulls are one of the breeds that are most commonly rejected.

Pit Bulls Can Lead to Denied Coverage

Unfortunately, pit bull ownership may lead to denied coverage altogether. Regardless of whether a pit bull may affect your home insurance, you should let your insurer know you have a dog to ensure you have coverage in the event a claim is made against you.

By being honest about your pet ownership or intentions, you can ensure you get an insurance policy that is right for you. If you fail to disclose this information to your insurer, your claim may be denied.

Ways to Demonstrate Your Pit Bull Is Well-Behaved

You may be able to improve the chances your pit bull is covered by your homeowners insurance policy or even lower your rate by demonstrating that your dog is well-behaved. The following steps can prove your pit bull has a history of safe and obedient behavior:

  • Sign your pit bull up for a training class.
  • Vaccinate your pit bull properly.
  • Earn the Canine Good Citizen certificate, awarded by the American Kennel Club.
  • Neuter or spay your pit bull, as these dogs are generally better behaved and more docile.

By following these steps, you can provide evidence that your pit bull is well-behaved in nature. This can demonstrate to your insurer that your dog is a lower insurance risk.

how to demonstrate your pit bull is well behaved

Alternatives to Home Insurance

Perhaps you want to keep your homeowners insurance coverage because you like your provider or rate, but your insurer refuses to include coverage in your policy for your pit bull. In this situation, you may be able to keep your home insurance coverage and obtain an alternative form of coverage for your dog:

  • Buy an umbrella policy: One of your alternatives is an umbrella policy. This can be purchased to combine multiple forms of coverage for your home, car and dog. An umbrella policy supplements your home insurance policy by giving you a larger liability limit. For example, if you are responsible for $300,000 worth of damages or injuries and your home insurance policy’s personal liability limit is $200,000, your umbrella policy will cover the $100,000 difference.
  • Ask about an exception: Even if pit bulls are on your insurer’s prohibited list, you may want to ask if you can get an exception. Exceptions are typically granted for service dogs or dogs that have obtained a Canine Good Citizen certificate.
  • Purchase pit bull liability insurance: As an alternative to buying a new home insurance policy, you can choose to purchase pit bull liability insurance as a stand-alone policy. This is coverage specifically for your pit bull, and it may cover any injuries, casualties, or property damage your pit bull causes.

Some dog owners may think they can exclude their dogs from coverage and forego pet liability insurance altogether. However, if you choose to exclude your pit bull from coverage, you will not have insurance for any liability claims that arise if your dog bites or injures someone. You will be personally responsible for the damages and costs if you are sued. We recommend obtaining pet liability insurance to ensure you are covered in the event of an accident.

As a pit bull owner, you may want to take the extra step of getting a supplemental pit bull insurance policy that is specifically geared toward pit bulls. Regardless of how responsible a pet owner you are, the number of pit bull attacks that occur each year can’t be overlooked.

Millions of people are bitten by dogs each year, and the large majority of them are bitten by pit bulls, Rottweilers, Presa Canarios, or their mixes. These attacks can end in serious injuries, permanent disfigurements, and even fatalities. The risk for pit bull owners is too great to be caught on the wrong end of a lawsuit without the proper pit bull liability coverage on their side.

Failing to maintain proper pit bull liability insurance coverage is not an option, as many states require proof of a pit bull liability insurance plan should you need to retrieve your pit bull from a pound after a biting incident.

liablity insurance for pit bulls

Get Liability Insurance for Pit Bulls From XINSURANCE

At XINSURANCE, we know it can be concerning to hear you aren’t covered by your insurance policy. We believe no one should have to worry about being inadequately covered. We can help maximize your peace of mind and minimize exposure by providing a customized liability insurance solution that covers gaps in your coverage.

First, you’ll send in your insurance application. Then you’ll speak with our underwriting team about the aspects of the risk. Since pet liability insurance can be a bit more complicated than other policy types, we take a more hands-on approach to the process. Contact us at XINSURANCE for a free quote today.

Last Updated March 19, 2021

Rick LindseyAuthored by Rick J. Lindsey, President, Chairman, and CEO of XINSURANCE

Rick J. Lindsey hails from Salt Lake City, Utah. He began working in the mailroom of his father’s Salt Lake City insurance firm, getting his introduction to the business that became his lifelong career. Rick J. Lindsey quickly rose through the ranks while working in nearly every imaginable insurance industry job. As an entrepreneur, specialty lines underwriter, claims specialist, risk manager, and a licensed surplus lines broker, Rick J. Lindsey is highly skilled in all levels of leadership and execution. As he progressed on his career path, Rick J. Lindsey discovered an urgent need for insurers willing to write policies for high-risk individuals and businesses. He was frequently frustrated that he could not provide the liability protection these entities desperately needed to safeguard their assets. He also formed the belief that insurance companies acted too quickly to settle frivolous claims. Rick J. Lindsey decided to try a different approach. He started an insurance company and became the newly formed entity’s CEO. This opportunity has enabled Rick J. Lindsey to fill a void in the market and provide a valuable service to businesses, individuals, and insurance agents who write high-risk business. XINSURANCE also specializes in helping individuals and businesses who live a lifestyle or participate in activities that make them difficult for traditional carriers to insure. If you’ve been denied, non-renewed, or canceled coverage, don’t give up quite yet. Chances are XINSURANCE can help.