What you need to know about Pitbull Insurance
As a dog owner, you accept responsibility for not just your dog but also the people who interact with your dog, including your neighbors and guests and any damage your dog might cause to property.
Though you will know your dog best and understand how to treat your dog, there might be interactions with strangers which end in a negative way.
As a dog owner, you probably trust your dog to behave well. However, in the unpredictable scenario that someone gets bitten by your dog or someone’s property gets damaged, they might decide to sue you.
In such an unpredictable scenario, you might suddenly find yourself liable to pay thousands of dollars in damages. Hence, it is advisable to always have an insurance policy that covers liabilities related to your dog in order to be on the safe side.
However, whether or not such damages are covered by your insurance provider and what costs you have to pay for the insurance policy depend on the breed of dog that you have.
One of the highly contentious dog breeds when it comes to insurance is pit bulls. If you have a pit bull or are planning to get one, it is best to stay informed on how this affects your insurance coverage.
We’ve put together this simple guide that will tell you all you need to know about pit bull insurance.
Are Pit Bulls Covered In Insurance?
Whether or not your pit bull is covered in your insurance scheme will depend on the insurance company. Though many insurance companies include dogs as a liability in home insurance schemes, exceptions might be made depending on the breed.
Dog bites form a large number of insurance claims and insurance companies are becoming increasingly stricter about dogs as a liability.
In 2020, there were 16,991 claims related to dog bites where each claim ran up to an average of $50,245. The total value of the claims came up to 853.7 million dollars in 2020 alone.
Many states such as Arizona, Illinois, Connecticut, etc. have outlawed blacklisting of dogs solely based on breeds.
However, many insurance companies still blacklist certain dog breeds as being too risky to include in the insurance coverage and pit bulls are one of the most commonly blacklisted breeds.
Pit bulls are loving and intelligent animals that are just as likely to become aggressive on being ill treated as any other breed. However, pit bulls are often negatively stereotyped as being more aggressive and violent than other breeds.
Pit bulls are one of the most popular breeds for pets in America and though there might be high numbers of dog bites from pit bulls, these numbers are a small percentage compared to many other breeds.
Historically, negative media coverage and unregulated breeding practices have led to stereotyping and stigma around pit bulls as violent and dangerous.
You might either be denied coverage if you have a pit bull or need to pay higher insurance depending on the company’s policies.
It is essential that you disclose to the insurance company that you have a pit bull so that you can be informed on their policies regarding the same.
If you fail to disclose that you have a pit bull, you might be denied coverage even for claims that are not related to the pitbull.
Ways to Include Pit Bulls in Your Insurance Policy
Though the insurance company might have policies that exclude pit bulls, they might also have provisions for making an exception under certain circumstances. You might be able to convince them of making an exception for your pit bull if you are able to prove that it will not be a risk to cover it.
In order to do so, you have to provide evidence and show your insurance company that your pit bull is well behaved, reliable and safe to be around. There are several ways to obtain pit bull insurance.
Provisions for exceptions can include pit bulls who are service dogs. Another excellent way to demonstrate your dog’s reliability and good behavior is to get a Canine Good Citizen certificate.
This certificate is awarded after a two-part course offered by the American Kennel Club. Having a Canine Good Citizen certificate can also help you get a discount on the insurance scheme.
Getting a Canine Good Citizen certificate for your pit bull would be a reasonably convenient process as you will have to put in just one hour a week for six weeks. The training program is one of the more expensive ones at 150 dollars.
Several other similar certification programs will offer similar training to your pit bull. Companies such as PetSmart and PetCo offer similar six-week-long courses but at the lower prices of $119 and $109, respectively.
Other measures to take include training classes, vaccination and neutering or spaying. Make sure to collect evidence of these procedures so that you can provide them to the insurance company in order to prove that your dog is well behaved.
Alternatives to Home Insurance for Pit Bull Owners
In case you are not able to find a suitable insurance company that provides home insurance coverage for your pit bull or if you are getting a pit bull after you have already bought your insurance, worry not because there are alternative options for pit bull insurance.
An umbrella insurance policy will cover liability insurance that exceeds your other specific insurance policies, such as home insurance or car insurance. Umbrella insurance policies are a great safeguard from liabilities that are excluded from other policies.
This would be a good choice for you if you got your insurance policy before bringing a pit bull into your life. An additional umbrella insurance policy can cover this unforeseen gap in your insurance policy.
Dog Liability Insurance
There are insurance companies that provide specific coverage for your dog only. This kind of insurance will cover all the liabilities of owning a dog, such as property damage, injuries from dog bites and so on.
Here too, it is essential to check if the company provides liability insurance specifically to pit bulls. Some insurance companies specifically cater to dog breeds that are deemed dangerous and excluded from most other insurance policies.
Insurance Companies That Allow Pit Bulls to Be Insured
There are a number of insurance companies that understand your needs as a pit bull owner and don’t stereotype or blacklist based on dog breeds. These companies will assess your dog as an individual dog rather than typecasting it according to breed.
Einhorn Insurance Agency is suited for dog liability insurance for breeds that are considered dangerous by most other companies. The company believes itself to be an advocate for pit bulls especially and provides insurance for all dog breeds.
The Federation of Insured Dog Owners provides insurance for all dog breeds across the US. They are known for their reasonably priced insurance policies which start at prices as low as $75 a year.
InsureMyK9 provides dog liability insurance for not just breeds that are considered dangerous but also makes insurance possible for dogs who have a bite history. They will also offer coverage if you have more than one pit bull as a pet.
Lester Kalmanson Agency specializes in covering unusual risks that are excluded by other companies and as such are open to all dog breeds with all kinds of history. They provide liability insurance for individual dog owners, landlords and commercial dogs.
State Farm offers liability insurance for dogs of all breeds for both renters and landlords. It also provides health insurance for your pet and can help cover veterinary costs in case of an accident. Payment methods for State Farm insurance policies are very convenient as well.
Nationwide provides liability insurance for dogs from all breeds, including pit bulls, as long as you fit the criteria. Nationwide provides insurance coverage for dogs who can be proved to be well behaved by having the Good Canine Certificate from the American Kennel Club.
The United Services Automobile Association provides home insurance for pit bull owners. However, only those who have served in the military and their families are eligible for insurance from USAA.
They do take into account your pit bull’s history with respect to biting or aggression, unlike some other insurance companies on this list. However, they are an excellent option for insurance if you are a veteran as they provide other relevant perks.
Though pit bulls are not very different from other breeds when it comes to aggression and violence and you may know your own pet pit bull to be a gentle, well-behaved and loving pet, many insurance companies are not friendly towards pit bulls.
If you have a pit bull, many insurance companies might deny you coverage under home insurance or they might increase the price of your insurance scheme.
To avoid any issues with insurance as a pit bull owner, it is best to disclose the fact that you have a pit bull and to stay informed about pit bull friendly insurance policies.
Several insurance companies across the country are open and inclusive of pit bulls. If you are not able to access any of these, then you can also look for an umbrella insurance scheme.
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