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farm owner's insurance premiums and certain dog breeds

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  • farm owner's insurance premiums and certain dog breeds

    I am not trying to start a debate about insurance coverage of certain dog breeds. That could be a topic unto itself.

    I am, however, interested to hear from those who have breeds that increase homeowner's insurance. I know the list may vary from company to company, but the bottom line is that some companies will not write a policy if you have certain dog breeds, while other companies will charge a higher premium for certain breeds. As someone who plans to own one of these breeds, I was curious to know how much your insurance premium increased when you added your dog.

    I am going through the quote process now to find out if my insurance will write a policy if we add a dog(s), and am just curious to know what to expect as far as premium increase. (I know it varies - just looking for ballpark amounts.)

    FWIW, the breeds I am mainly concerned with are Doberman Pinschers and German Shepherd Dogs.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I have Shepherds and State Farm. When I bought the policy 16 yrs ago, they asked what kind of dogs and if they had ever bitten anyone and if they were attack trained. The answers were "no" and "no". The homeowners policy was issued with no further questions. It's been 16 yrs and they've never asked anything again. I wasn't charged any more for the dogs. It's a homeowners policy on a 5 acre private farm. Don't know if that makes any difference.


    • #3
      I have travellers and they have never even asked me if I had a dog or what breed(s) it might be. I would refuse to use a company that used breed as the basis for their decision; they should be going purely on the dog's personal history.


      • #4
        With very few exceptions, (I have been in the insurance industry for 20+ years and have yet to come across a carrier that does not have a list of some sort) all insurance companies have a dog list that they will not write coverage over. They may refuse to write, write at a higher premium or exclude coverage for damages the dog does (i.e. it bites someone and they sue, your on your own).

        By the way Wendy - Travelers does have a dog list.


        • #5
          I have always been asked if there are dogs on the property. For me the answer is no. I suspect that some insurance companies will charge more if you have ANY dogs, since, like a pool, that is yet another 'risk' that they are insuring.
          Donerail Farm


          • #6
            GSD, professionally trained protection dog...$1,000/year rider to policy...Nationwide


            • #7
              20 years ago we were at a big TB training center in NC. We were part of the corp that owner it, but we lived there. Over 5 years we were robbed 14 times from air compressers to over $30,000 worth of tack and race horse equipment. One nasty stormy Jan. night someone went into my DH and my private stable and stole a 2 month old mini donkey colt. Obviously a "special order theft" since no one but employees and visitors knew he was there. Long story short. We did get the baby back since he had fallen out of an open truck bed when they spun out on the highway. After that incident the corp took action...a 500 foot photo electric beam that shot across the whole front entrance to the farm (200 acres with 3 miles of road frontage - non-secureable) was installed and a trained Personal Protection trained GSD was bought. (a junk yard dog would not work as we had 4 board fence!!) The insurance company never made one peep or raised the premium one cent!! We also never lost a single item ever again. Guess it depends on your location and insurance co.
              Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


              • #8
                I have a breed that is on 'The List'. We adopted the last one from our local shelter. As a condition of the adoption, the shelter required a letter from the insurance company that provides our homeowners insurance that they would not drop us because of the dog.

                We have State Farm. The do not have a breed bias. They will cover - with no additional charge - dogs on 'The List'. If the dog bites someone - then they may refuse or charge additional dollars for continued coverage.


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks, everyone. I appreciate the responses. I played phone tag with my insurance agent today, so hopefully I'll get some answers on Monday.


                  • #10
                    I got State Farm for my homeowner's insurance when I bought this property in 1985. I owned 2 dogs at the time -- one male protection-trained GSD and one male Great Dane. I don't ever recall that State Farm questioned me about the dogs. The agent came out to inspect the property, and the only thing I remember that she questioned was the fireplace and the log-burning stove in the basement, and whether or not I rented my horses out for trail rides -- Not! Those dogs are long gone now, and I have had many dogs since that time and still have dogs. State Farm has never asked about dogs. I have been with them for over 25 years. I have never had any claims, and my insurance is reasonable.


                    • #11
                      we have a policy through Farmers on our 25 hobby farm. just recently made some additions to it and our agent came by to take photos. while petting my aussie, she told me that they won't even write policies for folks with pitbulls, pitty crosses, or rotties. if she comes to photo a property and finds them there, she immediately cancels the policy application.
                      * trying hard to be the person that my horses think i am


                      • #12
                        I have Amica insurance, they were more interested in finding out if the dog had a history of biting, any training (ie formal obedience training) and if the dog was spayed or neutered. We have border collies and labs so I guess the pit bull thing never came up.


                        • #13
                          It's apparently very common for insurance agents to photograph properties these days. My agent is the same one that I was with in my previous house, and since I now live almost 3 hours away they had a local agent take the pictures, and used the appraisal color pictures too (they had to be color).

                          They did say they don't insure properties with a history of animals that have bite histories, and I think there were some breed restrictions (as I recall they were larger guard breeds like Pressa Canario that I've never even seen in real life).
                          You can't fix stupid-Ron White


                          • #14
                            I have Allstate for my homeowners. They asked what kind of dog I have (Doberman) and if she had ever bitten anyone (never!); no problem and no extras fees at all.


                            • #15
                              By the way Wendy - Travelers does have a dog list.
                              well, they've never once asked if I have any dogs? maybe they only look at their list if you have to put in a claim for a biting dog?


                              • #16
                                I'm a volunteer with a rescue group of a breed that is frequently on "the list". Here is something one of the members sent to us from her personal experience...(this info is a couple years old)

                                Allstate: doesn't provide insurance for a household that has more than three dogs, only one of which can be a German shepherd or Doberman pinscher; company keeps a list of restricted breeds and will not write or renew policies of homeowners who keep those breeds.

                                Liberty Mutual: keeps a list of restricted breeds and will not renew.

                                Nationwide: keeps a list of restricted breeds and will not renew.

                                PEMCO: considers breed, along with other dog-ownership factors, when deciding whether to insure a homeowner.

                                Safeco: keeps a list of restricted breeds and will not write new policies.

                                State Farm: has no restrictions regarding breed.

                                On the same subject : a little tidbit of advice - I read somewhere to never put up signage on your fences, gates, etc., warming people of the danger of dogs you own (beware of dog, dogs on duty, etc). Essentially it's admitting that you own a dangerous dog. Better: a sign that says "dogs at play".

                                And finally, one of the best precautions you can take is enrolling your dog in a formal obedience class, or better yet, certify your dog as a "Canine Good Citizen" with the AKC. There's nothing better than a professional organization backing you up with a diploma saying you own a "good dog", should you ever have charges brought against you or the threat of your insurance being canceled if your dog bites someone.


                                • #17
                                  Phaxxton!! No Dobie yet?!?!?

                                  I live in Canada and have never had any discussion with insurance companies about dogs and we have had Dobes (at one point 3 in one house!) for over 20 years. Perhaps it is the honour system in Canada

                                  Get your Dobie!!!
                                  "look deep into his pedigree. Look for the name of a one-of-a-kind horse who lends to his kin a fierce tenacity, a will of iron, a look of eagles. Look & know that Slew is still very much with us."


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Originally posted by sisu27 View Post
                                    Phaxxton!! No Dobie yet?!?!?

                                    I live in Canada and have never had any discussion with insurance companies about dogs and we have had Dobes (at one point 3 in one house!) for over 20 years. Perhaps it is the honour system in Canada

                                    Get your Dobie!!!
                                    I am picking him up next week -- have been trying to PM you, but your inbox is full. Clean it out and PM me for details!!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Update - We decided on a Doberman Pinscher pup. I spoke to our insurance agent and Dobermans aren't specifically excluded on our policy, nor will they make the premium go up. In fact, our agent told me she owns dobermans herself!

                                      She did say we may have to fill out a dog questionnaire when our pup is older (12-18 months), but that just asks about temperment and makes sure he hasn't bitten anyone.

                                      And the GREAT news is that we are picking up our dobe pup next week!


                                      • #20
                                        Our home owners does care about breeds and has a restriction list. Earlier this year they sent an inspector to our property for an assessment (they do once a year) and he was asking about our dog (who he met) and I kiddingly said he was a furry pit bull. Then I went on to say no he was actually a clumber spaniel. Well the guy took pictures and then went back to the office and two weeks later we received notice they were canceling our policy because of the pit bull! I had to get letters from the vet and send copies of the dogs papers to show that the dog was extremely gentle and in fact not a pit bull to get our policy reinstated. Moral of the story - don't joke with the insurance adjuster. This is what my dog looked like btw http://www.finnskeeper.net/mymuse.html how they could seriously think he was a pitbull I will never know....