Home and renters insurance for pit bulls: what you need to know


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  • Homeowners and renters insurance usually covers dog bites as part of liability.
  • Some insurers exclude large dogs and certain breeds of dogs, such as pit bulls, from this coverage.
  • If you have a pit bull, you may be able to purchase an umbrella policy or canine liability insurance.

Owning a dog can increase your risk as an owner or

Tenant insurance

assured. About 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and the average cost of a dog bite claim is $44,760, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Home and tenant insurance covers dog bites as part of public liability. However, some insurance companies may exclude large dogs and certain breeds, such as pit bulls, from coverage. If you have a pit bull (a dog with bull terrier heritage), talk to your agent to determine if an optional umbrella policy is available. Otherwise, you will need to purchase canine liability insurance to insure your pit bull.

Does home or renter’s insurance cover pit bulls?

Homeowners or renters insurance usually covers dog bites as part of your policy’s liability coverage. However, many insurers exclude dog breeds and sizes from coverage. Dogs known to be aggressive, trained attack dogs, unneutered male dogs and dogs with a history of biting are generally excluded, according to American family insurance.

You must tell your agent if you have a pit bull. Failure to inform your insurance company of your breed type may result in your claim being denied, in which case you would be personally liable for dog bite expenses. What breeds are not covered by

home insurance


Everquote surveyed insurance companies and found that these are the 10 breeds most likely to be excluded from insurance policies:

  1. pit bull
  2. Rottweiler
  3. Chow chow
  4. Presa Canario
  5. Akita
  6. Doberman Pinscher
  7. wolf hybrids
  8. Mastiff
  9. Wolf
  10. German shepherd

Two alternative coverage options for pit bulls

Many insurers won’t sell you a homeowners or renters insurance policy if you own a pit bull, making it harder for an insured to cover their dog. While this may be the case, there are still coverage options available for your pit bull.

Umbrella Policy

American Family notes that even if you have an excluded breed, you may be able to purchase coverage from a liability insurance policy. An umbrella homeowners or renters insurance policy.

Umbrella insurance costs vary depending on the insurer and the amount of additional coverage you select. However, you may find that your umbrella insurance premiums are more expensive than someone without a pit bull.

Canine liability insurance

Canine liability is another option if you have a pit bull and cannot get an umbrella policy. Canine liability insurance is a separate policy that provides coverage if your dog bites or attacks another person. The cost varies depending on your dog’s breed, size, location, and if your dog has bitten or attacked someone in the past. Other pricing factors include whether your dog is properly vaccinated and has ever been deemed a “dangerous dog” by animal control.

Canine liability insurance isn’t very common, but here are some of the providers that offer this coverage:

  1. X Insurance
  2. Dean Insurance
  3. Einhorn Insurance
  4. Evolution of insurance brokers

If you have a pit bull or an excluded breed, you should shop online and get quote comparisons. Be sure to tell the insurance company that you have a pit bull. If you’re considering a pit bull as a pet and you already have home or renter’s insurance, contact your agent to see if an umbrella policy will provide coverage. Otherwise, you will need to take out canine liability insurance.


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