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Does Renters Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

Most renters insurance policies cover dog bites, unless your dog is a restricted breed or has bitten someone in the past. Renters insurance is a good investment for dog owners because it covers dog bites and other damage your pet causes.
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C.L. Mike Schmidt Published by C.L. Mike Schmidt
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What is Renters Insurance?

Also known as tenant insurance, renters insurance is an insurance policy designed to provide much of the same benefits as a homeowners insurance policy but does not include coverage for the dwelling or structure. It provides limited liability insurance and the tenant’s personal property is covered against certain damages including fire, theft, and vandalism. It also pays expenses when the dwelling becomes uninhabitable.

What is Breed Specific Legislation?

Breed-specific legislation is an ordinance that restricts ownership or possession of certain breeds of dogs. The ban lists the physical characteristics of prohibited breeds, specific breeds that are prohibited, or both. Historically, breed-specific legislation has restricted ownership of breeds like Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, and Doberman Pinschers.

Related Article: Top 10 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds in the US

How Many States Have Dog Breed Restrictions?

Breed-specific legislation is present in many U.S. cities and counties in one form or another. As of 2016, at least 36 states have breed-specific legislation on the books. This included 1,052 cities, 38 counties, and 292 military bases which imposed breed-specific laws.

Which States Prohibit Dog Breed Restriction Legislation?

The following states prohibit local jurisdictions from passing breed-specific laws: Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Massachusetts, Nevada, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Utah, and South Dakota. California prohibits most breed-specific laws but does allow breed-specific spay/neuter.

Which Dogs are Typically Restricted?

When renting an apartment or house, it is important to know whether the property owner regards your dog as a restricted breed. Keep in mind that apartments may also prohibit dogs mixed with restricted breeds. Breed restrictions vary greatly from one location to another, but a restricted breed list typically includes:

  • American Bulldogs
  • American Pit Bull Terriers
  • Boxers
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • Rottweilers
  • Akitas
  • German Shepherds
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Mastiffs
  • Malamutes
  • Great Danes
  • Cane Corso
  • Chow Chows
  • Huskies
  • Wolf Hybrids

Will My Renters Insurance Drop Me if My Dog Bites Someone?

In most cases, renters insurance will pay for medical costs and legal expenses if your dog bites a person. However, restricted breeds are difficult to insure or excluded from coverage altogether. You may also be denied renters insurance coverage if your dog has a history of aggressive behavior.

Will My Insurance Go Up After a Dog Bite?

Once a dog has bitten someone, it poses an increased risk. When this occurs, the insurance company may charge you a higher premium, not renew your policy or exclude the dog from coverage.

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