Will Adopting a Dog Raise My Homeowners Insurance Rates?

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  • Having a dog could make homeowners insurance more expensive.
  • The breed of dog you have could also impact your rates.

The quick answer? It might.

Adopting a dog is one of the most fulfilling decisions you might ever make. After all, there's nothing like the love and loyalty of a pet. But owning a dog comes at a cost. You'll need to pay for food, medications, and veterinary care, among other things.

But you may be surprised to learn that another cost of yours goes up after bringing a dog into the fold -- your homeowners insurance. Here's what you need to know.

Expect a rate hike on insurance premiums

There are a couple of reasons why you should expect to pay more for homeowners insurance once you adopt a dog. First of all, your dog may be more likely to cause damage to your home. And so in light of that, you could see your premium costs rise.

Also, part of your homeowners policy is your liability coverage. That portion of your coverage protects you financially in the event someone gets hurt on your property.

Once you adopt a dog, there's a possibility that someone will sustain an injury from your pet -- either due to being bitten or knocked over. And so once again, your premium costs are likely to rise to reflect that risk.

If you own a dog at the time of your homeowners insurance application, you'll need to disclose that information then, and your dog-related risks will be reflected in your initial rate quote. If you have an existing homeowners insurance policy and adopt a dog, you'll need to contact your insurer and see how that impacts your rates.

In some cases, bringing a dog into the mix may not raise your rates all that much. But you could see your costs go up depending on the type of dog you choose to adopt.

Your dog's breed matters

Some homeowners insurance companies won’t cover specific breeds that they consider to be more dangerous or risky than your typical dog, or will charge more to cover them. Those include breeds like pit bulls, rottweilers, and other breeds that have a reputation of being aggressive. You may even find that certain large breeds are excluded.

If your homeowners insurance policy won't cover the breed you have, you may need to purchase separate liability coverage for your dog. Keep in mind if you buy pet insurance, that won't cover you at all in the event your dog injures someone on your property.

Pet insurance functions like health insurance for your dog. It can protect you in the event your dog needs expensive medical care, but it won't cover the cost of damage to your home or injury to another person.

Know what you're getting into

Owning a dog is a huge responsibility -- both a logistical and financial one. It's important to incorporate the cost of pet care into your budget to ensure you can cover all of your expenses. At the same time, it's important to gear up for higher homeowners insurance costs. And if you're adopting a breed with a more aggressive reputation, be sure to do your research to understand your options for coverage.

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