Condo Association Rules - Can You Have a Dog?

Me and my dog, Gadget.Eyeing that puppy in the window? Well if you live in a condo or apartment building, be sure to check with the appropriate sources before buying or adopting a dog.

For those living in a condo, this means checking the by-laws of your association and then checking with your insurer. Truth be told, most master insurance policies do not have dog restrictions, but your unit owner's insurance carrier probably does. For those living in an apartment building, this means checking with your property manager or landlord and then with your renter's insurance carrier.

Apartment complexes and buildings are generally more strict when it comes to their pet policies, as rented apartments need to be in proper condition to rent out more often than condo units change owners and pets can cause damage.

Associations and insurers may have restrictions on the size of the dog, or more commonly, the breed of the dog. I personally live in an apartment building that has breed restrictions only. So my 15 pound Schnauzer mix is perfectly acceptable, but American Staffordshire Terriers, Rottweilers, Chows and several other breeds are not permitted.

Dog bites are covered by the liability portion of your policy. This is where you will see many carriers list their guidelines for what breeds are not eligible.

Dog bites account for one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims, says the Insurance Information Institute, with claims costing the insurance industry $412 million in 2009.