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Homeowners insurers don't like some dog breeds

Consumer Reports News: August 06, 2009 03:23 PM

Your dog may be the darling of your household, but in the eyes of your homeowners insurance company, your cuddly critter could be a potential liability. As we mention in our latest report on homeowners coverage, insurers are increasingly limiting liability coverage for certain dog breeds. According to the Insurance Information Institute, a New York-based trade organization, dog bites account for one-third of all homeowners liability claims.

The III says most carriers will insure you for liability if you own a dog. But once your dog bites someone, you may find it hard or more costly to maintain coverage. But a recent Los Angeles Times article cites several breeds that might be blacklisted by carriers from the get-go, including pit bulls and pit bull mixes, doberman pinschers, akitas, and chow-chows. Animal advocates say it's wrong to blame the breed, and that bad dog behavior is instead the result of bad owner behavior.

For advice on dealing with the liability issues of dog ownership, check out the III's article here. If you're looking for new homeowners' insurance, consult our Ratings of 16 different insurance groups, including the largest carriers. And if you want to know whether to purchase medical insurance for your pet, check out our report on saving money on pet care  from Consumer Reports Money Adviser.

Care to share your experience with animals and insurance? Feel free to comment below.


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