Know your options.

Insurance is one of the top reasons why potential adopters say they can’t consider dogs perceived as pit bulls. Many landlords use insurance as an excuse not to rent to folks with dogs that are widely discriminated against. Many homeowners are unaware of the available insurance options. Others are unable or unwilling to potentially pay more for a policy from a company that doesn’t discriminate or offers conditional policies.

Most insurance companies have discriminated against a typical list of “dangerous” dogs for decades. In their defense, these policies have some substance. In our ultra-litigious society, certain types of dogs bring big bucks in settlements and jury trials alike. It’s going to be very hard to change the minds of actuaries who compile and analyze statistics to calculate insurance risks regarding ownership of certain types of dogs.

That being said, there are insurance companies that do not have discriminatory policies. It’s hard to compile one comprehensive list because some national carriers still don’t sell insurance in every state. Other carriers are regional and only sell policies in a handful of states. Additionally, insurance laws are governed on a state-by-state basis, so it’s conceivable that a company may have certain rules and restrictions in one state but not another. The best advice is to look for an independent insurance agent in your area and inquire about your options with them. Independent agents typically write insurance for many companies and have knowledge regarding specific policies on prohibited dog lists.

We do know that two big national carriers- Allstate and State Farm-are known for being very dog friendly across the board. Although they are national and write in most of the US, you’ll need to verify if they sell insurance in your area.



Insurance company reform will take some time. Until things change, research and know your local resources and then have those available to potential adopters, for in person consultations and on the web. This is a crucial step that advocates must take to change more minds and save more lives.