Typically, homeowners have to be concerned about the age of a home, the condition of the plumbing, roofing and electrical, weather related disasters or if the property has a pool when applying for homeowners insurance in Texas. Insurance companies take all of these things into consideration before approving a homeowners insurance policy in Texas. However, there is one more item that insurance companies take very seriously when approving a policy. Your dog!
Dogs can Affect Homeowners Insurance in Texas
Most of us would be shocked to learn that our homeowners insurance in Texas could be affected by the breed of our dog. Yes, it really is true. You see, insurance companies are very concerned with anything that could possibly pose a liability when considering your home for coverage.
The Humane Society estimates that there are a little more than 77 million dogs with owners in the United States. That is about one dog for every three homes. Consequently, because of the large numbers, insurance companies have to consider the possibility of dog bites when approving homeowners insurance in Texas.
According to the CDC, there are approximately 4.5 million people bitten by dogs yearly. These bites account for about 800,000 emergency room visits yearly. Insurance companies pay out just about $29,000 per dog bite claim.
Because of the serious issues surrounding dog bites, insurance companies can turn down homeowners for homeowners insurance in Texas and other states. In some cases, you may not be turned down for insurance, but you might have to pay much higher rates to get insurance.
Banning Dog Breeds
Because of so many dog bites, some states have even taken to banning certain dog breeds, however, Texas isn’t one of them.
However, you may come up against higher liability insurance rates or not be approved for homeowners insurance in Texas if your pooch is on the list of bad breeds:
• Wolf Hybrid
• Pit Bull
• German Shepard
• Chow Chow
• Siberian Husky
Interestingly, the list changes from year to year based on the number of dog bites reported for specific breeds each year.
Insurance Companies and Dogs
You may be able to resolve pet issues with insurance companies by retraining your pet, sending it to dog obedience school, muzzling your dog, putting up “Beware of Dog” signs or installing fencing.
Normally, neutering or spaying a dog tends to make them less aggressive. Socializing dogs helps to reduce their fears of strangers and may prevent a dog-biting incident.
Because each insurance company may have a different approach or policy concerning dogs, you need to discuss your dog situation carefully with your agent to resolve dog issues.
Tips for Finding Homeowners Insurance in Texas With a Dog
The first thing you should do if your insurance company has a problem with your dog is to find out if the problem is the breed or another concern.
Often, a company may approve your homeowners insurance in Texas if you have a letter from your veterinarian or a dog obedience certificate. In some instances, you may be able to arrange for a home visit with your agent to meet the dog and show that it doesn’t represent a threat to visitors.
In some cases, you may be able to purchase a separate umbrella policy for your homeowners insurance in Texas to provide the necessary liability protection.
If you can’t come to terms with your existing insurance company, check out dog friendly insurance companies like Fireman’s, Liberty Mutual or Nationwide that don’t discriminate based on dog breeds.
Changing insurance companies, retraining your dog, or buying a separate liability policy to cover your dog are all viable options for getting homeowners insurance in Texas with a dog.