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Your Dog and Homeowners Insurance in Williamstown, Vermont

For many families living in the Williamstown area, especially those with young children, bringing home a rescue pup or a dog is a big event. Everyone is excited about choosing a name and cannot wait to play with their new dog. Undoubtedly, no one is giving any thought to how the pup may affect homeowners insurance.

Homeowners Insurance Williamstown

Dogs Can Be an Important Aspect of Your Homeowners Insurance Policy in Williamstown, VT

Most of us have no problems with how are dogs behave around family and friends. Well-adjusted dogs are usually friendly and enjoy visitors. However, there are a few exceptions where dogs have been known to attack, bite or even seriously injure strangers, children or family members. These are the dogs that insurers are very concerned about.

Why Insurance Carriers Have a Vested Interest in Your Dog

Insurance companies cover risks as part of their business, but they are particularly concerned when risks and claims increase, like in the case of dog bites. It is believed that about 40 percent of the households in America have at least one dog. According to some reports, there have been a little less than 5 million dog bites on average each year. Consequently, some carriers may have paid out millions of dollars in liability claims covering lawsuits and medical costs.

You Are Obligated to Tell Insurance Carriers You Have a Dog

By signing an insurance contract, you indicate that you agree to the terms, and the information about your home, structure and contents is truthful and accurate. Therefore, if you fail to tell your carrier you own a dog or lie about the breed, you could be in jeopardy of losing your policy or having claims denied.

How Insurers May Handle Dogs and Your Homeowners Insurance in Williamstown

To reduce claims for dog bites, insurers are asking homeowners more in-depth questions about dogs living in the home. They want to get a picture of whether the dog is aggressive, dangerous, or has ever bitten anyone. They may ask you the age of the dog, the breed, and the size of the animal when considering homeowners insurance in Williamstown.

Some insurers may refer to a dog breed black list to rule out coverage for homes that have certain breeds of dogs. Common breeds that may be objectionable could include Siberian huskies, Chows, Doberman pinschers or Rottweilers, to name a few.

However, each insurer has their own rules regarding dogs.  If your dog is on a list, insurers may question you about your dog’s temperament, aggressive nature and whether it has a history of attacking or biting people.

Basically, insurers may have the option to turn you down for insurance because of a dog. Some may recognize the extra risks and charge more for your premium.

Precautions That May Help to Prevent Dog Bites

Some insurance companies may be willing to work with dog owners to provide insurance if they show they are responsible and willing to reduce risks.

  • Ensure your dogs are safely contained behind a fenced yard.
  • Send your dog to obedience training school.
  • Work with your pet to reduce fears of strangers by socializing your dog.
  • Use common sense, and do not leave your dog unsupervised or with children, neighbors or strangers.
  • Consider fixing your dog, which lessens aggressive natures.
  • Keep dogs current on their vaccinations to prevent the possibilities of rabies.

Make sure to double check the requirements for homeowners insurance in Williamstown with your local friendly agent -- they will be able to walk you through your policy and better know where you and your dog stand.


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This material is for informational purposes only. All statements herein are subject to the provision, exclusions, and conditions of the applicable policy. For an actual description of all coverages, terms, and conditions, refer to the insurance policy. 

Topics: Homeowners Insurance

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