Dogs take bite out of homeowners insurance

Insurance tips for dog owners
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What can dog owners do when they've been turned down for homeowners insurance or renters' coverage?

  • Shop around: Insurance policies regarding dogs vary widely, by company, city and state. A call to your state insurance commissioner can help narrow your search.
  • Contact animal-friendly organizations: The Humane Society, American Kennel Club and national breed clubs can help steer you to dog-friendly insurers. Cunningham, once turned down in Texas for having two "dangerous" breeds, spent $10 to join the Farm Bureau and obtained homeowners insurance through the group.
  • Train, restrain your dog: Some insurers will cover your dog if you take it to obedience school or agree to restrain it with a muzzle, chain or cage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
  • Read the fine print: Insurance companies may try to exclude dog bites or limit bite claims or claim amounts. Read your contract carefully.
  • Consider an umbrella policy: If your insurer insists on excluding your dog, a separate umbrella policy can provide the liability protection lacking in your homeowners insurance.
  • Dog liability insurance: If your dog has a checkered past, you may be able to obtain coverage through specialized dog liability insurance.




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