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According to the Humane Society, approximately 39 percent of all households in the United States are home to at least one dog. While dogs make heartfeltHouse Insurance companions, irreplaceable playmates for children, and devoted guards, they can also sometimes pose a problem when it comes to NH homeowners insurance.

The fact is, many state laws hold owners responsible for the actions of their dogs. If someone a dog (for example, a mail carrier, a neighbor, or an invited guest) bites who has a lawful right to be on a premises, then the owner is, in many states, fully liable for paying for the care of the resulting injuries. It is because of this fact that the presence of some dog breeds—generally, those considered especially dangerous—make it difficult to find a homeowner’s insurance policy.

Are insurers right to be worried? You bet they are. According to a 1996 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), dogs bite 4.7 million people annually. That means 2 percent of the entire U.S. population are bit each year. About 800,000 of these bites were thought to be serious enough to warrant medical attention. With the high cost of medical care these days, it is easy to see why insurers have become leery of insuring certain dangerous breeds.

Which breeds have insurers running the other way? The usual suspects include pit bull terriers, Rottweilers, German shepherds, Akitas, Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, Chow Chows, and Doberman Pinschers. If you are a homeowner and own one of these breeds of dogs, no matter how sweet and loving your individual dog may be, you may still be facing a heftier homeowner’s insurance premium than others on your street.

It is generally recommended that you purchase a homeowners insurance policy with a clause covering injury by dogs or other animals to ensure that you, as the homeowner, are able to pay the appropriate amount of compensation in the event that your dog bites someone. Given the fact that most dog bite injuries are inflicted on friends, relatives or neighbors of the homeowner, this also ensures that the people closest to you are well provided for in the event of an unexpected dog attack.

The best way to prevent having to file a dog bite claim on your homeowner’s policy, of course, is to prevent dog bites. Dog ownership is a huge responsibility, so make sure you train your dog properly, get your furry friend spayed or neutered, and train your children in the proper way to behave around animals. If you have guests over often, you may even want to invest in a muzzle or crate the dog while guest are over to ensure they are safe from an overenthusiastic pet

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