Your dog may impact your premium
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes—the American Kennel Club has recognized a staggering 195 dog breeds. Despite that, all dogs—whether a chihuahua or a bull mastiff—come from the same species, and you may forget that they descend from wolves. However, insurance companies haven’t forgotten the wild past of domesticated dogs, and it could impact your insurance premium.
When you purchase an insurance policy, you pay an insurance premium, which is based on many factors. One of those factors is the likelihood that a policyholder could suffer a loss. The higher the risk of loss, the higher the premium. For example, traditionally, policyholders with a pool or trampoline pay more than policyholders who do not have those amenities. How does that relate to dogs? Perhaps because of their wild, ferocious past, dogs are considered an additional risk by insurance companies, which means they may cause your insurance premiums to increase.
Typically, a homeowners or renters policy will provide coverage for liability arising out of dog ownership—usually related to a bite. According to the Insurance Information Institute, liability claims related to dog bites and other dogrelated injuries cost homeowners insurers $854 million in 2020. For that reason, if a dog has a higher risk of causing a loss, the premium will be impacted. Insurance companies address dogs in different ways. Outside of New York, many insurance companies will charge an increased premium based on the breed of a dog. However, New York law prohibits this practice.
Insurance companies in New York are unable to consider the breed of a dog when determining a homeowner’s or renter’s premium. Whether a policyholder has a corgi or a rottweiler, they still may charge an increased premium if a dog has been found to be a dangerous animal. These situations are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Do you have questions on how a dog might impact your homeowners or renters premium? Give our office a call today and we will be happy to assist you.