Homeowners Insurance with Pit Bulls

by Terra
(Floyd, VA, USA)

I have been doing research about this for only a couple of days- so I might be misinformed. I recently purchased a house in VA and have 4 rescued pits. None of them have papers, but there's no mistaking that they are part of a bully breed.

I cannot find any homeowners insurance company that will give us a policy! I have told the companies that I'm willing to pay more, willing to take them to obedience classes and get certified for whatever, none of them have been deemed vicious, we just put in a $4,000 extensive fence (underground and above ground).

Still- they say no when I tell them that I live in Virginia. Is this a law that I don't know about? I have searched everywhere I know where to search and cannot for the life of me find this law.

I really don't want to lie to an insurance company, but I'm not giving up my dogs, their just as much as a part of my family as my kids, and I need to have insurance because of the mortgage. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Gale's Reply:

Hi Terra:

You are certainly not alone in this dilemma. It can be a challenge to find homeowner's coverage when you have pit bulls. I wrote about this problem a few years ago in the first issue of Bully for You! So far, everyone

I've known who needed coverage was eventually able to find it. But, that doesn't mean it was easy.

The first place I would start is with the Virginia's Bureau of Insurance. They should be able to tell you whether there is something peculiar about VA's insurance laws that makes it harder to get covered. They also may be able to refer you to insurance companies that will cover you. Every state has the equivalent of an insurance board or commission. Here's the one for Virginia: http://www.scc.virginia.gov/division/boi/webpages/boicontacts.htm

A few insurance companies that seem to have a reputation for NOT discriminating against pit bulls include: State Farm, Farmers Insurance and Farm Bureau. Also, Nationwide is said to cover pit bulls that have passed the Canine Good Citizen certification.

However, agency policies can and do change from time to time. Not only that, but the owner of a local office has a certain amount of latitude when deciding restrictions on coverage they offer. So, you might encounter a local agent who says "no" while another agent from the same company in another town would have said yes.

Finally, an independent agent who is not wedded to one particular company can sometimes offer you options that a company agent cannot.

Good luck Terra. I hope you will post back here and let us know what you find out. It may help some other folks who are in the same boat.

Comments for Homeowners Insurance with Pit Bulls

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Aug 17, 2010
by: Jennifer

I think it is absolutely ridiculous of insurance companies to deny coverage to owners of this breed. I, too found that a problem years ago when I was told I had to take out a million dollars policy because of one dog. These people are ignorant and don't understand. They follow the stigma and that is that. I am sorry for your dilemna. I found no other way than to take the risk and not have insurance...I loved my dog too much. Please let me know of any updates in insurance laws you may find regarding this issue.

Sep 05, 2010
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If I were an insurance company I would be far more worried about other factors than Pit Bulls. Texting teens (and adults) would make me reconsider my bottom line. What about people who own other breeds, where that particular family dog is a threat? My friend's Yorki-Poodle has bitten everyone in their family, and me! I could go on and on about what insurance providers should really be worried about. Personally, I don't worry about being seriously injured by dogs. My greatest fear are the drunk and/or texting drivers on the road. In an instant we can be killed, or seriously injured for the rest of our lives. I'll take kisses from a Pit Bull any day.

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Jun 30, 2012
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I simply want to say THANK YOU!! I have been searching for a few years now for this information. I am about to me moving out on my own and have had to put up quite the fight with my family in order to keep my Pitty. Their excuse was always " the insurance company will cancel our insurance if they see her! get rid of her!" I can honestly say thank you so much!! I have a fighting chance until i can get out on my own in a few months and i now have the knowledge of where to go for insurance. Thank you Thank you THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!

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