When looking at your Greensboro homeowners insurance policy, you’ll notice three major types of protection. First is your dwelling coverage, second is your personal property coverage and third is your personal liability coverage. It’s the personal liability coverage that protects you in the event that your pet bites someone or damages their property. It also protects you in the event that someone else’s pet damages your property. What it doesn’t do is protect you in the event that your pet bites you or damages your property.

Not All Pets Are Included

Certain pets may be excluded from liability coverage in your Greensboro homeowners insurance policy, including exotic pets and certain specific dog breeds. Common dog breeds often excluded from coverage include:

  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Pit Bull (including Bull Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and combinations of these breeds)
  • Rottweiler
  • Chow Chow
  • Wolf Dogs (and Wolf Hybrids)
  • Presa Canario (Canary Dog)
  • Akita
  • German Shepherd
  • Husky

Forbes Advisor analyzed banned dog lists from 42 different homeowners insurance companies nationwide to learn the most frequently banned breeds according to filings made by insurers to state insurance departments. The above list contains breeds banned by at least 30% of insurers analyzed, although there were 21 other breeds banned by between 5% and 29% of analyzed insurers.

Other Commonly Banned Dogs

Other dogs commonly banned by homeowners insurance policy coverage include:

  • Mixed breeds from the above-listed dogs
  • Guard dogs
  • Dogs who have previously bitten a person or another animal or have set on someone with violent force
  • Dogs who have been observed by an insurance company employee to have displayed vicious behavior

Not all insurers have a list of specifically banned dog breeds but may handle each dog owner’s policy on a case by case basis.

Dog Bite Insurance Claims

Insurance companies have become increasingly alarmed by the number of claims related to dog attacks by certain breeds. According to the American Property Casualty Insurance Assn. (APCIA), children comprise one-half of the annual dog bite victims. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), in 2017, which holds the recent high for annual dog bites nationwide, there were 18,522 claims filed. 2020 saw a decrease of dog bite claims down to 16,991, but the average cost of these claims was $50,245. APCIA reports that the cost of reconstructive surgeries and legal costs for litigation rose 15% in one year.