Just like any good Texan, we love our dogs. Big dogs and little dogs, but most especially we love rescue dogs. We have many of them in our family and have helped organizations like Cane Rosso Rescue in the past. But one thing Texans can sometimes forget is that the good puppy dog can actually have an effect on your home insurance. Let's explore what that may mean for you personally.
Does My Policy Cover My Dog?
The short, and easy answer, is yes. But faithful readers of our blog know that there is usually never a short nor easy answer to home insurance questions in Texas. But, as a general rule of thumb there is coverage for your dog. For most people, that means covering a bite via your personal liability coverage. But the personal liability can be leveraged for other scenarios as well such as your dog escaping your yard and destroying something at another house down the street. But we come back to it's never quite that easy. So let's look at some reasons why these claim scenarios could be denied.
The first thing to consider is that some homeowner insurance companies exclude certain breeds from coverage all together. We aren't going to tell you that they are right or wrong, we are simply here to explain your restrictions and options. Some of the home insurance companies refer to a list of what they classify as aggressive breeds. This list will include any combination of chow, doberman, pit bulls, wolf hybrids, and shih tzu. OK. The shih tzu isn't on the list, but you get it. With the restrictions, some companies will deny bite coverage and some will deny a policy altogether. Working with an independent insurance agency that has many options can help you overcome this problem.
Bite History Restrictions
Some home insurance companies don't care about breeds, and others do. But one thing that many of them will ask about is the bite history of your puppy dogs. Your pet that would get you excluded with one of the previously mentioned breed restriction companies can be covered, so long as they don't have a history of biting. The same can be said for the shih tzu with some companies. They focus on the bite history as a marker of aggression rather than the breed. While this is likely more fair, it can also create a complication in finding adequate coverage if you pooch has a history of biting.
Bite Liability Restrictions
When we talked about breed restrictions, we said that some companies will limit bite coverage based on the breed. Some home insurance companies will put restrictions, or sub-limits, on the amount of liability coverage that they will provide regardless of breed. When there are restrictions on coverage, many of these home insurance companies will allow you to buy up the liability protection afforded to a higher limit. This is an important provision, that while expensive, can be important in keeping you whole.
So What Is The Effect On Premium?
In the end, it is not uncommon to have a surcharge for having an animal or increasing the bite restriction. You will likely be paying a premium to have your pup in the home. And that's ok, because we do the same thing as you! The key is to not hide it from your insurance agent. Most Texas home insurance companies do a visible inspection of the property when the policy is issued. As a result, they will find your puppy dog. If you tell your agent, they can find a great solution for you rather than you being surprised by mail from the home insurance company.
If you aren't sure what your options are, now is a great time to schedule a review with one of the agents at Insurance For Texans. Hit the button below to begin the process of being able to sleep soundly knowing that Texans have worked with you to keep you protected no matter the situation.