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A dog bite can cause serious injuries, and as the owner of the dog, you are liable. Dog liability insurance provides financial protection in the event of a serious bite incident involving your dog.

Homeowners insurance includes personal liability coverage that extends to your dog, and there are also standalone dog liability policies available. How much and what type of pet liability insurance you need depends on a few factors, including the breed and bite history of your dog. You may find the cost of dog liability insurance worth the investment for peace of mind.

But before you buy, it’s important to understand how liability insurance works when it comes to dog bites, and compare the cost of dog liability insurance options.

Key Takeaways

  • Dog liability insurance is a type of insurance policy that covers all kinds of incidents and damages that pets can cause, including bites.
  • Homeowners insurance includes personal liability coverage that will extend to your dog, but there may be breed restrictions.
  • Dog liability insurance can cost as little as $10 a month for a standalone policy

What is dog liability insurance?

Dog liability insurance is a standalone policy that provides coverage for risks specific to dogs, such as bites and property damage.

While it’s not called dog liability specifically, the personal liability portion of a homeowners insurance policy also provides coverage for dog bites and other injuries or damages done by your dog, on or off your property. However, there may some restrictions on this coverage, particularly for certain dog breeds.


dog liability insuranceWhat does dog liability insurance cover?

Dog liability insurance covers homeowners and renters from a host of potential mishaps and injuries. If your dog were to bite someone, your dog liability insurance would cover the injuries and help protect you from a lawsuit. Dog liability insurance does not cover damages to your property or injuries to you or other household members. Much like liability homeowners insurance, it only covers damages done to others outside the household.

Unlike some home insurance companies, dog liability insurance companies tend to cover any breed. It’s important to consider your risks to determine if you need coverage beyond what home insurance provides.

Are exotic pets covered by pet liability insurance?

If you have an exotic pet, you may have difficulty finding coverage for them unless you get an exotic animal liability insurance policy.

There are 20 states that have outlawed exotic pets with a comprehensive ban, a sweeping measure that includes animals it deems extremely dangerous, such as wild cats, large non-domesticated carnivores, reptiles, and primates. Thirteen states have partial bans depending on the animal, and only 14 allow exotic pets with either a license or permit.

If you have an exotic pet, you should check with your homeowners or renters insurance provider to see what exceptions and requirements may apply. Then, consider an animal liability insurance policy through a specialized insurance company.

How much is dog liability insurance?

A dog liability insurance policy can cost as little as $10 per month, with rates increasing for higher coverage limits and lower deductibles. For example, offers policies with between $10,000 and $30,000 of coverage and a deductible of $250 to $2,500.

Dog liability cost will depend on what coverage you select and then factors like your dog’s age, breed, size, and history. The cost of pet liability insurance for other pets, particularly exotic pets, varies.

The cost of dog liability insurance for homeowners is included in a standard home insurance policy as personal liability coverage. However, if you have a risky pet your home insurance company may charge you higher rates or even exclude the dog entirely.

Where to get dog liability insurance

Some companies offer pet coverage with the typical home insurance policy, such as Farmer’s Insurance and Esurance.

If you are looking for specific insurance to add to your regular home insurance coverage, these are some popular providers for dog liability insurance.

  • Lester Kalmanson Agency
  • Xinsurance
  • Prime Insurance Company
  • ASPCA Pet Insurance
  • InsuremyK9
  • Einhorn Insurance
  • Dean Insurance Agency (formerly Federation of Insured Dog Owners, or F.I.D.O.)

Does homeowners insurance cover dog bites?

A standard home insurance policy covers liability for you, your family and your pets. Liability coverage starts at $100,000, but can be increased up to $500,000. Extended coverage can be purchased in the form of an umbrella policy, which starts at $1 million in coverage.

Your personal liability coverage will cover dog bites and other damage done by your pet. Your policy also includes medical payments coverage, which can be used for minor medical expenses regardless of fault.

Some insurance companies specifically exclude coverage for dogs of a certain breed, or may exclude coverage for a dog with a bite history. And, if you haven’t told your insurance company about your dog and then try to file a claim, they might deny the claim.

What breeds of dogs will insurance companies not cover?

There are some breeds of dogs that home insurance companies are hesitant to cover because they are considered high-risk animals. Not all insurance companies have breed restrictions, so it’s important to ask when you are shopping for a policy.

These breeds are among those that may be excluded from coverage:

  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Cane Corso Mastiff
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Great Dane
  • Mastiff breed
  • Pit Bull
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • Rottweiler
  • Siberian Husky
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Wolf hybrid

Policies vary from company to company; some insurance companies may issue a decision on a case-by-case basis, looking at the individual dog rather than the entire breed. Others may require you to sign a liability waiver or charge you a higher premium.

Frequently asked questions

Do I have to tell my homeowners insurance that I have a dog?

Homeowners should always talk to their homeowners insurance companies about any dogs they have. It’s important to ensure that you are protected with the right coverage if there is an injury or any damages that occur in your home. You don’t want to wait until it’s too late to find out that you do not have enough coverage for your household.

Does renters insurance cover dog bites?

Renters insurance may protect from dog-related claims and injuries through the personal liability protection from your policy. Depending on the kind of dog you have and where you live, you may need to obtain separate dog liability insurance. Your landlord may also require that you carry specific insurance to protect the rental property.

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Lena Borrelli
Contributing Researcher


Lena Borrelli is a freelance writer from sunny Tampa Bay who has worked with such leading industry titans as Gronk Fitness, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and Simon Corporation. Her work has most recently been published on sites like TIME, Microsoft News, Bankrate, Investopedia, Fiscal Tiger, The Simple Dollar, ADT and Home Advisor.