For many people, a house doesn’t quite feel like a home without a furry friend to cuddle up with. However, your homeowner’s insurance carrier may not feel as fuzzy about Fido as you do.

According to the CDC, nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. While most pet owners believe their animal would never bite a human, insurance companies take that statistic very seriously. Ultimately, they are aware that if your dog bites someone, it means they will be paying for the medical bills.

Why Dogs Affect Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage

Unfortunately, insurance carriers are not able to come out and meet your well-behaved dog personally. Many insurance companies do not take a dog’s training or personal background into account, but some do. Generally, they operate on statistics and breed reputations.

Whether it seems fair or not, there are common breeds of dogs that some insurance companies will simply not cover. Often topping this list are Pit Bulls, Dobermans, Rottweilers, and German Shepherds. If you own a dog that may be considered “high-risk,” your BenefitSource Insurance Professional can help you find an insurance company and policy that is more pet-friendly.

How to Lower Your Risk

Often, adding a dog to your family means a higher premium for your home insurance. However, if you remain claim-free, some insurance companies will take that into account.

  1. Do your research. When choosing your pet, it’s important to do your research on the breed and the individual animal’s history. For instance, some breeds are better with children than others. Some rescue pets have a history of aggression that should be considered. Some dogs have high levels of energy and require significant exercise to avoid becoming over-excited.
  2. Socialize your pet. To avoid claims, train and socialize your dogs to make them comfortable with people. There are many simple commands that can lessen your chances of having a dog bite incident. For example, teaching your dog to drop a toy reduces your risk of being bitten when reaching toward his or her mouth.
  3. Know your animal. Most dogs will give you a sign if he or she is beginning to feel uncomfortable. Learn to read your dog, and be prepared to remove him or her from tense situations. Also, never leave a dog alone with small children.
  4. Ask your BenefitSource Insurance Professional for help!

 If you own an animal, it’s important to be honest with your insurance company and understand any policy limitations for your pets. After all, if something was to happen, it’s important to be protected.

At BenefitSource, we ensure that our clients are educated on their policies and are fully insured to protect themselves and their investments. Call us directly at (877) 215-5431 or email us to set up an appointment to discuss your homeowner’s policy today!

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