There are no bad dogs, only bad dog owners. Dogs will bite, act up and become aggressive only because their owners are irresponsible and don't teach their dogs properly. Yet, insurance companies don't see it that way. Many insurance policies won't cover injuries for "high-risk" dog breeds such as pit bulls even if the homeowner has liability coverage that protects against dog-related injuries [source: Patel].
Where do the insurance companies get their "high-risk" list? Like anything with insurance, it all comes down to numbers. Although there is no standard formula, the insurance companies go by the average number of bites reported by each breed. However, the Humane Society of the United States says the list changes each year. A few years ago, the Doberman was the most-feared breed. Today, it's the pit bull and Rottweiler [source: Larson].
Are "aggressive breeds" a big problem? According to Insurance Information Institute, dog bite claims increased nearly 11 percent from 2006 to 2007, the last year figures were available. The average insurance claim was $24,511 [source: Larson].