New York Homeowners Insurance for Dog Owners: Liability and Pets

Oct 23, 2019

23 Oct
Homeowners Insurance, The Ins & Outs of Insurance, Understanding Insurance

New York Homeowners Insurance for Dog Owners: Liability and Pets

by Robert Marsalona

Getting a dog for the family is a big commitment, and there are many things to consider before taking the leap. What breed suits your family’s lifestyle? Who will walk the dog? Where will they stay while you’re on vacation? However, beyond all of these questions, the decision to welcome man’s best friend into the family can affect your homeowners insurance as well.

Why Is My Homeowners Insurance Company Interested In My Dog?

Under the personal liability and medical payments coverage on your homeowner’s insurance policy injuries to others that occur on your property are considered a covered loss. Thus, your dog is covered if he/she is to bite someone, in which case your liability would help cover medical expenses, legal fees and the like. Believe it or not, around 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, and 1 in 5 bites require medical attention. The indent left by your furry friend’s jaw can cause nerve damage or even become infected. So, while you might believe your 90 pound Rottweiler is your business, your insurance company may not see it that way.

What Factors Determine If My Homeowners Insurance Will Cover My Dog?

The predominant factor is breed. Depending on the insurance company certain breeds are considered more risky than others. While some animal lovers may consider these classifications a misconception, even the most well trained animals can be unpredictable in certain situations. Some breeds may require you purchase higher liability limits, be excluded from coverage under the policy all together, or cause your application to be denied. Common breeds that can be considered a liability are:

  • Pit Bulls
  • Chow Chows
  • Dobermans
  • Mastiffs
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds

This list is by no means definitive and your NYC insurance company can include all of these breeds in their breed exclusion list for homeowner’s insurance policies, only some, or none at all–depending on the company. Reach out directly to your carrier to find out how your dog may affect your policy. Do you already have a TSC policy? Contact us!.

What Do I Tell My Homeowners Insurance If I Have A Dog?

Regardless of whether or not your dog may be a risk, the best option is to tell your insurance company upfront.  Misrepresenting the breed or saying that you don’t have a dog at all can place your coverage in jeopardy later. If your dog bites someone and your insurance company wasn’t aware of your dog, the claim likely won’t be covered and you can be denied coverage in the future. In short, tell the truth. If you talk with your insurer, they may offer a discount if you and your pet complete an obedience class.

How Can I Insure My Dog?

If your home insurance carrier is unable to extend coverage to your dog, try a separate dog liability policy. Dogs are protected under these policies in the event they cause injury to someone else. Policies are generally affordable and will cover any breed!

Have A Pet and Need Homeowners, Renter’s or Condo/Co-op Insurance in New York?

TSC has been providing New York pet owners the peace of mind they need with homeowners insurance since 1986. We provide coverage in New York City, Long Island, Staten Island, Westchester and Orange counties. Our insurance company communicates directly with our customers and we offer competitive homeowners insurance rates for New Yorkers. Get a free online quote for affordable homeowners insurance in New York or call TSC>Direct today at 1-800-JOIN-NOW (800-564-6669)!

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