People love their dogs, regardless of breed. But home insurance companies are another story.
If you're a homeowner and looking to get a dog, real estate experts strongly advise checking with your insurer to see if that dog is on the danger list. And these days, insurers have become very picky about dogs that may pose a risk to people.
“A quick check could save you a lot of headaches later,” said Janet Scott-Buckley, an agent with Harrington Insurance Agency in North Andover.
For insurance purposes, Scott-Buckley said, dog breeds fall into three categories.
1. Most Dangerous: Most regular insurance companies will not cover you if you own a dog in this category. Dogs in this category include the pitbull, doberman pinscher, German German shepherd and rottweiler. You can get insurance with these breeds, but it will hve to be from a more expensive insurance pool.
2. Borderline: These breeds are seen as generally nice but have the potential to harm people, often playfully. Dogs in this category include bigger dogs like the English bullmastiff, Siberian husky and great Dane. These types of dogs may be acceptable to some insurance companies but not others, depending on insurers' standards, Scott-Buckley said. Often, having an obedience training certificate with the dog may help get you insured.
3. No Problem: Most dog breeds fall into this category. These are dogs of various sizes that don't raise red flags regarding safety.
“Most breeds aren’t a problem, unless your particular dog has bitten people in the past,” Scott-Buckley said.
She suggests researching a dog breed, and the individual dog, thoroughly before getting a dog.
“If it’s a puppy, ask your agent about the breed," she said. "If it’s a rescue dog, find out if it has a biting history or was abused. It’s better to find out sooner instead of perhaps having to give it up after you’ve become attached to it.”