Could My Dog Make Me Uninsurable?


Dog ownership is part of the American dream, along with the house, the two kids and the picket fence.

But did you realize the type of dog you decide to bring into your home can actually impact your homeowners insurance? And did you know New Jersey is one of 38 states and the District of Columbia that have extensive dangerous dog laws on the books?

On the liability insurance side of the equation, some writers of homeowners insurance have breed-specific lists of dogs considered dangerous. Remember, dog-bite accounts for about one-third of the homeowners insurance liability claims — which can take a serious bite from consumers.

Breeds on the list differ from company to company, but most lists include:

  • Pit bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • Chows
  • German shepherds
  • Presa canarios
  • Akitas
  • Wolf hybrids

Some other insurance agencies take each dog individually, asking the homeowner to answer some questions about their pet, including bite history.

New Jersey’s law is far from perfect. Critics say it’s too broad and too open to interpretation. It does prohibit banning specific breeds, arguing instead that any dog breed can become vicious — that breeding, training, socializing and neutering are more likely to determine whether the dog grows up vicious.

If you’ve been involved in a dog-bite incident and suffered a serious personal injury, it’s important to understand the liability of the dog owner and how the complexity of the law can influence your personal injury claims. The best person to understand and interpret the law for you is a qualified personal injury lawyer.

Posted in Personal Injury