Dangerous Dog Breeds & Homeowners Insurance in Texas

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Some large breeds of dogs can increase homeowner insurance premiums.
Some large breeds of dogs can increase homeowner insurance premiums. (Image: dog image by Ramona smiers from Fotolia.com)

While Texas is considered to be fairly “hands off” when it comes to animal rights, the exception to that can be found with the breeds considered “dangerous,” when it comes to homeowners insurance. Some insurance companies will completely refuse to insure a household with a dangerous breed, while others will put certain safety measures into place.

Considerations

Even as the particulars vary from state to state, when it comes to dog breeds that have been deemed dangerous in the state of Texas, the actual homeowner coverage varies from company to company. Some companies have a strict policy against certain breeds – such as pit bulls – while others have adopted a more lenient attitude. The best way to determine which breeds are covered by a specific company is to have a consultation with the actual insurance agent.

"One Bite"

Some states have what is known as the “one bite” law. This is a law that allows a dog to have one unprovoked attack without any liability to the owner. In Texas, there are certain caveats to that particular law, including a stipulation that the dog in question cannot have had any incidents of questionable or aggressive behavior.

Potential

In Texas, certain dog breeds that have been deemed to have the potential to be dangerous will have higher insurance premiums and might also require certain other restrictions. Some insurance companies will request that the dangerous breed be kept in a tightened security enclosure, where the risk of the dog doing harm to an individual will be reduced. These enclosures usually consist of chain link fencing that is higher than 6 feet, as well as a concrete perimeter that will not allow the dog to dig under.

Definition

In Texas, a dog that is deemed dangerous is usually a canine that attacks without provocation and in an area other than an enclosed area that can reasonably be considered the dog’s territory. The area where the dog is kept must be clearly marked as containing a dangerous dog and it must also not allow access from the general public to the area where the dog is.

Breeds

In Texas, in addition to pit bulls being considered to be “dangerous” by animal control officers, some other breeds might include German shepherds, Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers and mastiffs. While more people have been bitten by cocker spaniels than by pit bulls, a pit bull can inflict a great deal more damage than a smaller dog, which is why the cost of insuring them is higher. In a study conducted by the journal "Pediatrics," there were more cases involving dog bites from dachshunds and poodles than from Doberman pinschers and Rottweilers by a margin of more than double.

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