Lieberman, Ryan & Forrest, L.L.C.
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Do insurance companies deny coverage because of a dangerous pet?

You already know that some dog attacks can be tragic. Many residents of New Jersey and elsewhere have been mauled by other people’s family pets. Homeowners’ insurance is meant to cover injuries that happen in someone else’s home, but ownership of certain kinds of dogs may mean that the homeowner can’t be insured.

Denying coverage based on man’s best friend may seem petty, but Psychology Today points out that insurance companies have a valid financial reason not to insure the owners of certain dog breeds. In 2013, personal injury claims related to dog bites made up more than a third of all homeowners’ insurance claims across the country. You may find it interesting to learn that many insurance companies have lists prohibiting coverage for numerous breeds deemed too dangerous and risky. The most commonly blacklisted dog breeds include pit bull terriers, rottweilers, German shepherds, Staffordshire terriers, chow chows, Doberman pinschers, akitas, mastiffs, great Danes, Alaskan malamutes, Siberian huskies, cane corsos, presa canarios and wolf hybrids.

You may understand the reasons for not insuring breeds that are commonly associated with serious attacks, such as pit bulls and German shepherds. Insurance companies may also ban breeds that are less common in the United States, like the presa canario, based on widespread news coverage of a dog mauling.

Your dog bite case may be complicated if the owner’s insurance company denies coverage based on the breed of dog. For this and other reasons, experienced legal counsel may be necessary. This information is not meant to replace the advice of a lawyer.

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