Getting a renters insurance policy that covers pit bulls takes some more planning. Shop around to find the best policy.

Most homeowners and renters insurance policies provide coverage for canine-related accidents, such as a dog bite. But, unfortunately for dog lovers, some insurance companies refuse to write policies or charge higher premiums for some breeds, including pit bulls. 

It’s a stereotype that exists around the world, but pit bulls are viewed as a dangerous breed by insurance companies. Some insurers do not provide coverage at all, but there are others who will simply charge you a higher premium for coverage or include exclusions into your policy. 

If you have a pit bull, however, getting coverage is possible. But don’t settle for the first insurance company you find that will cover your pet. You should shop around for an insurance policy to get the best coverage at the lowest price. And while shopping for renters insurance with a pit bull may be a little complicated, residents of Michigan, Nevada, New York, and Pennsylvania should keep in mind that they cannot be denied homeowners or renters insurance if they have a pit bull. 

How does renters insurance cover dog owners?

If you are renting a space to live, renters insurance covers any accidents or damage that happen to the property. It also offers liability coverage that covers bodily injuries — which is where renters insurance for dog owners comes in.

Accidents happen. And if your dog bites (or even nips) at someone, liability coverage pays for the medical expenses, which can be tens of thousands of dollars. In 2021, the average cost of a dog bite claim was $49,025, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). A typical renters insurance policy will pay out well above this limit — sometimes up to $300,000. 

All dog owners — not just pit bull owners — need renters insurance coverage in case of an accident.

What renters insurance covers pit bulls?

Even if options for pit bull owners are more limited, you can still get renters insurance that includes injuries or property damage caused by a pit bull. There are two insurance companies that come out on top for pit bull owners:

State farm

State Farm is an excellent choice for renters insurance for pit bull owners — their online questionnaire doesn’t ask about breed and only inquires if you have a dog at all. Because State Farm doesn’t have breed restrictions, you won’t have to pay more for your renters insurance policy.

But, this also means there is a small chance for your claim to be denied if your dog bites someone. The insurance company evaluates each dog bite claim case-by-case.  

Nationwide

Nationwide offers renters insurance to pit bull owners, but they may require your dog has a training certificate. at an extra cost, such as The Canine Good Citizen training certificate from The American Kennel Club (AKC). 

Depending on where you live, your other insurance company options will vary. Work with an independent agent to find a renters insurance policy that covers your pit bull and fits into your budget.

Why is it so hard to get renters insurance if you have a pit bull?

You may have to do some extra work to get renters insurance if you have a pit bull because insurance companies have restrictions for some dog breeds. These restrictions exist because from the insurer’s perspective, some breeds are considered a liability and have a higher chance of an accident occurring. 

Dog breeds that face restrictions from insurance companies include:

  • Akitas
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • German Shepherds
  • Great Danes
  • Mastiffs
  • Pit Bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • Siberian Huskies

How much does pit bull renters insurance cost?

Renters insurance for pit bull owners is more expensive than a standard renters insurance policy, but how much you’ll pay will vary for each insurer. Because you can expect to pay more no matter what, you should shop around to find the policy with the lowest rates.

You shouldn’t forego renters insurance due to cost, however. Dog bites are more common than you might think — nearly 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Additional insurance for pit bull owners

If pit bulls are excluded from the policy of your choice, you can buy two types of additional coverage to make sure you are protected:

  • A canine liability policy, which provides insurance for any breed, including pit bulls. This can be a separate insurance policy from your renters insurance, or it can be added on as an endorsement.
  • An umbrella policy, which supplements your renters insurance and provides additional coverage in case of a dog bite. An umbrella policy provides liability protection above your standard homeowner, auto or boat insurance policies. It may cover you for claims that are excluded by your other liability policies.

While getting renters insurance as a pit bull owner may be more complicated, it’s not impossible. Shop around to find the right policy, or consider adding on supplemental coverage to make sure you are protected.

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