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Where can I get home insurance coverage for a German Shepherd? (2020 Best Picks)

Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: May 2, 2020

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Home Insurance for German Shepherd Owners Overview
Key InfoDetailsSource
SizeHeight – 24–26 inches (male), 22–24 inches (female)
Weight – 65–90 pounds (male), 50–70 pounds (female)
American Kennel Club
Bite Statistics#4 Most Likely Breed to Bite HumansAmerican Animal Hospital Association
Insurance Company BlacklistsNot covered by Allstate
May not be covered by Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Erie, and USAA
Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, Erie, and USAA
Bite Prevention PracticesTraining, socialization, protective barriers and devices, supervisionAmerican Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
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If you own a German Shepherd, home insurance coverage can be harder to obtain. If you’ve been wondering where and how you can get the coverage you need, we can answer your home insurance questions, including those about your beloved GSD.

Because German Shepherds are high-risk pets, home insurance companies may deny you coverage or charge more if you have one at home.

This expert insurance guide will walk you through shopping for coverage for a German Shepherd. We’ll cover topics like bite statistics, common insurance policies, and when you are and aren’t liable for your pet.

If you’d like to compare quotes on dog-friendly homeowners insurance quotes online before we get started, you can do so by entering your ZIP code above.

Can you get homeowners insurance with a German shepherd?

German Shepherds are known for their agility, strength, and intelligence. They are large dogs and can weigh anywhere between 50 and 90 pounds. They’re loyal and courageous, but their fierceness can sometimes come at a cost. If German Shepherds feel scared or threatened, they may react in ways that can be dangerous.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States. From 2005 to 2017, there were 20 fatal German Shepherd attacks in the U.S. Consequently, despite the many advantages, owning a German Shepherd can be a risk.

Home insurance companies assess your home’s risks when building your individual policy. If, for example, you live in a disaster-prone area, your insurance policy may include surcharges that account for that risk. Companies may even deny you coverage if they feel your home presents too many risks.

Because German Shepherds can be dangerous, they’re viewed as a risk by many home insurance companies.

In 2019, the Insurance Information Institute reports there were 17,802 dog-bite related insurance claims in the U.S.

However, German Shepherds are not the only breed deemed risky by insurance companies. This table shows what dog breeds are excluded on home insurance:

U.S. Dog Bite Statistics by Breed (1982–2014)
Dog BreedSevere U.S. AttacksBite Power
Akita70350–400 PSI
Boxer64230 PSI
Bull Mastiff111556 PSI
Chow61220 PSI
German Shepherd113238 PSI
Husky83320 PSI
Labradror56230 PSI
Pit Bull3,397235 PSI
Rottweiler535328 PSI
Wolf Hybrid85406 PSI
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Breeds are blacklisted by companies based on how often they bite and their size. Organizations like Best Friends Animal Society and The Humane Society have fought against this type of breed discrimination, arguing that dogs can alert their owners to household dangers like theft or fire and therefore reduce home insurance claims in the long run.

In addition, According to the ASPCA, there is no evidence that breed-specific laws make communities safer. In fact, the CDC has cited inaccurate dog bite data and difficulty identifying breeds as reasons to strongly oppose breed-specific laws.

As a result, the American Veterinary Medical Association notes it is illegal to discriminate by dog breed in these states:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Texas
  • Virginia

Nevertheless, some home insurance companies still deny coverage or increase premiums if you own a German Shepherd. So, what are your coverage options?

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Liability Coverage & German Shepherd Homeowners Insurance

Though German Shepherds often make excellent pets, they’re one of the five dog breeds most likely to bite humans. Without the right training and environment, a German Shepherd can pose a significant risk to the community. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, almost one in five people bitten by a dog requires medical attention.

If you own a German Shepherd and are purchasing home insurance, it’s important to determine whether your policy’s liability coverage applies to your dog.

You may be wondering: what is liability coverage?

Liability coverage protects you from legal and financial responsibility if someone suffers an accident on your property. Most standard home policies offer liability coverage.

In a standard home insurance policy, this coverage includes injury caused by animals. However, certain dogs are exempt from standard liability coverage.

Many factors determine whether or not your German Shepherd will be covered under your policy. Let’s take a look at a few.

State Laws Regarding German Shepherd Homeowners Insurance Liability

One important factor is your location.

In certain states, owners are automatically responsible for injuries caused by their dogs. This is the case even if the injured party provoked the animal. This law is called a dog-bite statute.

Other states employ the one-bite rule, which protects dog owners from liability the first time their animal bites. If, however, an animal has bitten someone or demonstrated dangerous behavior before, their owner becomes liable.

Some states have negligence laws, which only hold an owner liable if they were negligent in failing to restrain their animal.

In most states, homeowners are not held liable if their dog bites a trespasser.

So, in addition to researching your home insurance company’s German Shepherd policy, read up on your state laws. This will give you a better sense of what your coverage options are.

Your German Shepherd’s Bite History

The next big factor is your dog’s history. Does your German Shepherd have aggressive tendencies? Has your German Shepherd bitten someone before? If so, this may limit your coverage options.

Some insurance companies raise premiums or deny coverage if your dog has a history of aggression.

Others will provide coverage if the pet is taken to behavior modification classes or restrained with a muzzle, chain, or cage.

If you have a comprehensive understanding of your dog’s history, you will be more prepared to purchase the right insurance policy.

Company Dog Breed Policy

Once you know your state laws and your German Shepherd’s history, the next step is to determine whether your dog is covered by your home insurance policy. The following section of our guide will review the top 10 U.S. companies’ policies.

Are German Shepherds covered by insurance?

Determining where and how to get home insurance coverage for your German Shepherd can get confusing. While some companies offer coverage for German Shepherds, others may raise your premiums or deny you coverage. In addition, your coverage can change if your dog has a history of aggression.

Because guidelines vary from company to company, it’s best to shop around for price quotes before you settle on a policy.

To make it easier, we’ve created a list of the top 10 home insurance companies’ policies regarding German Shepherds.

Top 10 Home Insurance Companies With German Shepherd Policies
CompaniesPolicy
AllstateAllstate does not cover German Shepherds.
American Family InsuranceAmerican Family covers all dog breeds. They will cover your German Shepherd. However, they may require you to fence your yard and provide additional documentation. If your German Shepherd has a history of aggression, your coverage may be subject to a liability limit.
Chubb LtdChubb Group does not determine coverage by breed. Chubb Group may cover your German Shepherd. If they do, it may be at a higher cost.
Erie InsuranceErie considers breed when determining whether or not to insure your dog. Erie may not cover your German Shepherd. If they do, it may be at a higher cost.
FarmersGerman Shepherds are not on Farmers' "no policy list." Farmers determines coverage based on your German Shepherd's bite history. Farmers may cover your German Shepherd. If they do, it may be at a higher cost.
Liberty MutualLiberty Mutual considers breed when determining whether or not to insure your dog. Liberty Mutual may not cover your German Shepherd. If they do, it may be at a higher cost.
NationwideNationwide considers breed when determining whether or not to insure your dog. Nationwide may not cover your German Shepherd. If they do, it may be at a higher cost.
State FarmState Farm determines risk based on bite history, not breed. State Farm may cover your German Shepherd. If they do, it may be at a higher cost.
TravelersTravelers determines risk based on bite history, not breed. Travelers may cover your German Shepherd. If they do, it may be at a higher cost.
USAAUSAA considers breed when determining whether or not to insure your dog. USAA may not cover your German Shepherd. If they do, it may be at a higher cost.
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You’ll notice Allstate homeowners insurance dog breed restrictions include German Shepards on the blacklist. But there are other options to choose from.

If you’re looking for an insurance company that will cover your German Shepherd, your best bet is to consult agents at State Farm, Farmers, Travelers, American Family, and Chubb. These five companies do not consider breeds when determining your coverage. There may also be other insurance companies that allow all breeds of dogs, including German Shepards.

However, don’t forget to check your state’s liability laws. An insurance company that covers German Shepherds in some states may not do so in yours.

If an insurance company covers your German Shepherd, it may come at a higher cost. Though there’s no way to know how much owning a German Shepherd will add to your premiums without consulting an agent, you can take preventative measures to ensure your premiums are as low as possible. These measures include:

  • Training and socializing your dog
  • Vaccinating your dog
  • Adding protective barriers and devices to your home and yard

Let’s next take a look at how to amend your current coverage if you’re purchasing or adopting a German Shepherd.

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Do I have to add my dog to my homeowners insurance policy?

If you’re purchasing or adopting a German Shepherd, it’s important you notify your current home insurance agent. Your agent can help you determine if your current policy covers German Shepherds. If it does not, they can help you amend your policy to ensure you have the best liability coverage possible.

The same goes if you already have the dog and are looking to buy a new home insurance policy. You may need to shop around for dog-friendly homeowners insurance, or you may have some alternate options.

You may, for example, be able to purchase animal liability insurance.

Some insurance companies offer animal liability insurance as an add-on policy.

You can also purchase animal liability insurance from a separate company.

Here’s a helpful explanation of dog liability insurance created by ABC7 Sarasota.

When you notify your home insurance company of your new dog, there is a small chance they will deny you coverage, though it is more likely that they will raise your premiums. The chance of them denying your coverage will increase if there is a previous or outstanding claim against your dog. Whatever you do, answer honestly any questions about your dog. You don’t want to lie on your homeowners insurance application as it could void your coverage.

While checking the details of your current policy may seem unnecessary, it’s vital you understand your responsibility if an accident involving your German Shepherd occurs on your property.

Filing a Home Insurance Claim for a German Shepherd

If an incident has occurred with your German Shepherd, take steps to file a liability claim and know that you’re not alone. According to III, dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners liability payouts in 2015.

The first step is to make sure all injured parties have received the appropriate medical care.

Next, collect and exchange as much information as possible. Make note of the date, time, location, and the names of all involved parties. Then, create an honest report of what occurred.

Lastly, report the incident to your insurance company as soon as possible. You may be tempted to pay out-of-pocket to avoid higher premiums. However, insurance companies can fault you significantly if you don’t file a claim.

Opting out of insurance coverage also makes you more vulnerable if the injured party decides to file a lawsuit against you.

The claims process varies from company to company, so check in with your insurance agent about your next steps once you’ve reported the incident.

Preventing Dog Bites (and Claims)

Of course, you want to protect others, yourself, and your German Shepherd from incidents if you can. Let’s go over what you can do to prevent dog bites.

First, it’s important to understand why German Shepherds bite. According to the ASPCA, when dogs are young, they bite to play and investigate the objects around them. If puppies are not trained out of biting when they’re young, they will continue to bite as adult dogs and inadvertently cause serious injury. Adult dogs can also bite if they feel startled, afraid, or defensive.

A great way to prevent bites is to train your German Shepherd while they’re still young.

Even full-grown German Shepherds can benefit from training. Here are a few ideas for how to train your German Shepherd not to bite.

  • Condition your dog to be more gentle by making stern or yelping noises when they bite too hard.
  • Give your dog a chew toy instead of letting them chew on your hands or fingers.
  • Practice impulse control with specific exercises like “sit” or “wait.”
  • Use a taste deterrent to discourage your dog from biting skin or clothing.

You can also prevent dog bites by socializing your German Shepherd. According to the Animal Humane Society, dogs are most easily socialized when they’re young. The best way to socialize your puppy is by exposing them to human touch and different sounds. If your German Shepherd is already an adult, you can try socializing them by slowly introducing them to other dogs.

For more ways to train and socialize your German Shepherd puppy, check out this helpful video from professional dog trainer Ian Stone:

Other preventative measures include:

  • Making sure your German Shepherd exerts energy through exercise and play.
  • Adding protective barriers and devices to your home and yard.
  • Supervising your dog’s interactions with strangers and children.
  • Warning others not to approach your German Shepherd if they are eating, sleeping, chewing a toy, or caring for puppies.

If you invest in training your German Shepherd and building them an ideal home environment, you’ll have more insurance options to choose from and, more importantly, a safer household.

German Shepards and Home Insurance: The Bottom Line

If you own a German Shepherd and are shopping for home insurance, there are many ways to guarantee you and your dog are protected. Even if your current home insurance company does not cover your German Shepherd, there may be others that do. You may also have the option of purchasing dog liability insurance.

No matter which company or policy you choose, make sure to research your local laws and guidelines, take preventative measures when caring for your German Shepherd, and honestly report any incidents that happen.

If you’d like to find rates from homeowners insurance companies that don’t discriminate dog breeds, you can start by entering your ZIP code in the quote box below.

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