How Will Owning a Pit Bull Affect My Homeowner’s Insurance Rates?

In addition to the value of your home, the size of your deductible, and the value of the coverage limits that you specify, the cost of your homeowner's insurance policy is likely to be determined by dozens of "minor" factors. These might include the presence of low-hanging tree branches near your roof, the existence of a balcony or elevated deck, and the age of your home's appliances. In order to get a complete picture of the means by which your homeowner's insurance premiums are calculated, you'll need to talk to your provider. You might also want to read over the "fine print" of your policy before filing any claims.

Unless you're very lucky, your choice of pet will have a substantial bearing on the cost of your homeowner's insurance policy. Due to the statistical likelihood of an attack on a guest or other visitor to your property, your insurance provider is likely to increase your policy's premiums in response to the presence of certain "aggressive" breeds of canine. Even if your dog is well-trained, it may cost you hundreds of extra dollars per year. After all, your insurance company's claims adjusters have probably heard plenty of excuses for "well-trained" dogs over the years.

Dog breeds that are generally acknowledged to represent an insurance liability include pit bulls, chau chaus, rottweilers, wolf hybrids and coyote hybrids. Certain insurance companies may list other breeds as liabilities as well. In most cases, homeowner's insurance providers simply won't issue homeowner's insurance policies that include liability protection for pit bull bites.

In order to obtain insurance on your property, you'll probably need to sign a waiver that limits your insurer's liability for such incidents. If your pit bull attacks and injures one of your guests, you'll need to cover his or her medical costs out of your own pocket. You may also need to defend yourself against an expensive lawsuit. Regardless of whether you've signed the waiver, you'll still need to add an umbrella policy or dangerous-animal rider to your existing policy.

If you purchase a pit bull after obtaining your insurance policy, you'll need to inform your insurance provider immediately. Most insurance companies will require you to sign a liability waiver and take out a dangerous-animal rider on the spot. If you fail to inform your insurance provider of the presence of your new pet, it's likely that your policy will be voided without delay.

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