Your dog may make it harder to own your dream home

YORK COUNTY, Pa -- Shopping for a home to own or apartment to rent can be stressful.

If you find a place you love and get denied - it makes things even worse.

This is what some dog owners are facing.

"You can discriminate against dogs because dogs are not protected," said Steven Stambaugh, personal injury attorney.

For some people, having a dog means it's harder to get homeowners or even renters insurance.

Owners of Pitbulls, Rottweilers and Boxers often face this problem.

But this wasn`t always the case.

York County Personal Injury Attorney Steven Stambaugh says landlords or insurance companies restricting breeds is a lot more common now.

"20 years ago? No. 15 years ago? No. 10 years ago? It started too and in today's world very much so," said Stambaugh.

Stambaugh deals with about 20 dog bite cases a year, most involving pitbulls.

Pennsylvania had the 4th most dog bite cases in the country in 2015.

Steve Horning from State Farm in York the actual number of dog bites has been decreasing each year, but the price of those claims for insurance companies are what is increasing.

"The average dog bite claim in 2015 cost $37,000 to settle," said Steve Horning, a State Farm Agent in York.

Horning says that`s the reason you might see an ad on Craigslist which says dogs are allowed, but only under breed restrictions.

State Farm is one insurance agency that doesn`t care what breed your dog is when it comes to homeowners or renter`s insurance. "You have a dog and I do not have a dog and we get the exact same type of insurance, same address, same type of house, your insurance won't be any more expensive than mine.">

"You have a dog and I do not have a dog and we get the exact same type of insurance, same address, same type of house, your insurance won't be any more expensive than mine," said Horning.

Insurance companies do care if your dog has a history of biting.

Stambaugh says that is not something you can hide - because if you do, it will come back to bite you.

"You must always be truthful in an application for insurance because if you lie in the application for insurance, they can set that coverage aside after the fact because you fraudulently induced them, enticed them into getting you coverage," said Stambaugh.

There are a few other reasons why some landlord might not want to allow your pet on their property.

One may seem obvious, the bigger the dog the bigger the wear and tear on the place.

Stambugh says another is that many people don`t get renters insurance.

So, if you rent and your dog bites someone, that victim can go after your landlord.

"Often times you have the situation where the dog owner does not have insurance and they don't have any assets. So then you're looking for insurance coverage. The next target is the property owner and that's the landlord," said Stambaugh.

Experts say the best way to avoid all of this, is to just know and train your dog. "Every bred has good and bad dogs, just like some dog owners are responsible and some

"Every breed has good and bad dogs, just like some dog owners are responsible and some owners aren't responsible."

Also, insurance companies say even if you get a dog after you move in, you need to let your agent know.

If not, it's likely you will not be covered if something happens.