Dog breed could affect home insurance - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Dog breed could affect home insurance

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) - Getting a new dog could cost someone their homeowners or renters insurance if it's a certain breed.

Many insurance companies have a list of "blacklisted" dogs. These are dogs with the highest bite claims and some companies will not give insurance to these pet owners. Illinois was the 2nd highest state for dog bite claims in 2012 with 10 million dollars paid out for 309 dog bite claims. Local insurance agent Tracy Kiefer with O'Brien Insurance says even mix breeds dogs can affect insurance.

"Unfortunately, a lot of the dogs in the pounds are a mix breed," Kiefer said. "So even though they say it might be a lab, they could have pit bull in them and if the insurance looks at that dog and sees the pit bull and does not see the lab, they can cancel your policy. It is really hard. There are very few companies out there that will insure certain types of dogs."

Quincy residents Dennis and Deborah Powell own rottweilers and say though their dogs are bigger, insurance companies should look at the environment.

"I agree with that, a bigger dog can do more damage but that doesn't necessarily mean that they will," Deborah Powell said. "Treat them with respect like you would a person," Dennis Powell said. "Exactly, respect because they require respect," said Deborah.

The top 11 "riskiest" dog breeds are:

1. Pit Bulls & Staffordshire Terriers

2. Doberman Pinschers

3. Rottweilers

4. German Shepherds

5. Chows

6. Great Danes

7. Presa Canarios

8. Akitas

9. Alaskan Malamutes

10. Siberian Huskies

11. Wolf-hybrids

Kiefer says before getting a dog talk to an agent.  If insurance won't cover that dog, it may be time to shop somewhere else for new insurance.

18 states, including Illinois, prohibit laws that target specific breeds. Missouri and five other sates are considering adopting similar laws. Iowa allows breed-specific bans, with many towns having such laws in place.
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