Category Archives: New York

New York A3952 to end discriminatory practises in insurance advances

UPDATE:  Unfortunately the New York legislative session has ended without any further action on this bill.  Hopefully with the advancement this bill saw at the end of this session, a similar bill will be brought forward in the near future.

Earlier this year a bill was introduced in the New York state legislature that would prohibit insurance companies from refusing coverage or renewal of a policy based on the breed or type of dog the applicant has.  Additionally this bill would also prohibit an insurance company from charging a different rate to a person because of the type of dog they own.

The bill text:

S 3421. HOMEOWNERS’ LIABILITY INSURANCE; DOGS. 1. WITH RESPECT TO HOMEOWNERS’ INSURANCE POLICIES AS DEFINED IN SECTION TWO THOUSAND  THREE HUNDRED  FIFTY-ONE  OF THIS CHAPTER, NO INSURER SHALL REFUSE TO ISSUE OR RENEW, CANCEL, OR CHARGE OR IMPOSE AN INCREASED PREMIUM OR RATE FOR SUCH POLICY OR CONTRACT BASED SOLELY UPON HARBORING OR OWNING ANY DOG OF A SPECIFIC BREED OR MIXTURE OF BREEDS.
2. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT PROHIBIT AN INSURER FROM REFUSING TO ISSUE OR RENEW OR FROM CANCELING ANY SUCH CONTRACT OR POLICY, NOR FROM IMPOSING A REASONABLY INCREASED PREMIUM OR RATE FOR SUCH A POLICY OR CONTRACT BASED UPON THE DESIGNATION OF A DOG OF ANY BREED OR MIXTURE OF BREEDS AS A DANGEROUS DOG PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-THREE OF THE AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW, BASED ON  SOUND UNDERWRITING  AND ACTUARIAL PRINCIPLES REASONABLY RELATED TO ACTUAL OR ANTICIPATED LOSS EXPERIENCE SUBJECT TO THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS  OF  SECTION THREE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE OF THIS ARTICLE.

After a rather long period on inactivity this bill is moving forward.  The bill has passed the full Assembly and has moved on to the Senate side of the legislature.

Bills of this kind can be very difficult to pass because of the prevalence of the insurance lobby in the legislature. There is often staunch opposition to them.  The fact that the bill made it this far with the amount of votes it received is promising.  The bill passed Assembly with a comfortable majority of 105-34.

However, it is incredibly important the New York residents step up and make their voice heard.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Insurance Committee.  Please reach out and ask them to pass this bill to allow all residents of the state to be able to get insurance.  This bill not only helps dog owners but also helps victims of dog bites, insuring that they receive some kind of compensation for an incident the requires medical care.

Contact information for the committee members:
Senator James Seward: seward@nysenate.gov
Senator Neil Breslin: breslin@senate.state.ny.us
Senator David Carlucci: carlucci@nysenate.gov
Senator Adriano Espailla: espailla@nysenate.gov
Senator John Flanagan: flanagan@nysenate.gov
Senator Martin Golden: golden@nysenate.gov
Senator Mark Grisanti: grisanti@nysenate.gov
Senator Timothy Kennedy: kennedy@nysenate.gov
Senator Andrew Lanza: lanza@senate.state.ny.us
Senator William Larkin: larkin@senate.state.ny.us
Senator Kenneth LaValle: lavalle@nysenate.gov
Senator Jack Martins: martins@nysenate.gov
Senator Ted O’Brein: obrien@nysenate.gov
Senator Thomas O’Mara: omara@nysenate.gov
Senator Kevin Parker: parker@senate.state.ny.us
Senator Jose Peralta: jperalta@nysenate.gov
Senator James Seward: seward@nysenate.gov
Senator Toby Ann Stavisky: stavisky@senate.state.ny.us
Senator David Valesky: valesky@nysenate.gov
Senator Catharine Young: cyoung@senate.state.ny.us

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New York introduces a bill to prevent insurance discrimination

A bill has been introduced in the New York senate to prevent insurance companies from refusing coverage based on the breed of the persons dog.

SB 2568  “Prohibits insurers issuing policies insuring personal injury and property damage arising out of home ownership or lease, from cancelling or refusing to issue or renew such a policy, or charging increased premiums based upon the harboring of a specific breed of dog on the premises; provides that such provisions shall not apply if the dog harbored has been designated as a dangerous dog pursuant to section 123 of the agriculture and markets law.

Under this bill only a person who’s dog has a designation of dangerous or a history of aggressive behavior could be excluded from coverage.

New York State residents: Reach out to your legislators and ask them to support SB 2568.

Best Friends Animal Society has created a simple form to show support for this bill.  This form can be found here.

If you would like to reach out personally to your legislators the New York state official website has an equally simple contact form that can be found  here.

Mamaroneck, NY – Village Officials Consider Pit Bull Legislation

VILLAGE OF MAMARONECK, NY – Knee-jerk legislation is on the agenda as the result of a recent dog-on-dog attack that also resulted in a dog owners finger being severed while trying to break up the dog fight.

Residents have managed 50 signatures on a petition to have the dog removed from the village.  Meanwhile, Mayor Norman Rosenblum says, “It’s a health, safety and welfare question, especially regarding the kids.”

The matter to adopt legislation that would specifically address pit bulls, “dogs with a reputation for being violent” according to officials, has been added to the agenda for the village board’s Tuesday, October 9th meeting.

The original incident resulted after the pit bull jumped a chest-high chain link fence and attacked the smaller dog, whose injuries were fatal.  The pit bull’s owner has been charged with one count of a dangerous dog attack on a domestic animal.

New York State Law prohibits breed-specific legislation.

5. Nothing contained in this article shall prevent a municipality from adopting its own program for the control of dangerous dogs; provided, however, that no such program shall be less stringent than this article, and no such program shall regulate such dogs in a manner that is specific as to breed. Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision one of this section, this subdivision and section one hundred twenty-one of this article shall apply to all municipalities including cities of two million or more.

To send your POLITE, RESPECTFUL and PROFESSIONAL correspondence to Village Officials:

Village of Mamaroneck
123 Mamaroneck Ave.,
Mamaroneck, NY 10543
PH: (914) 777-7700

Mayor Norman Rosenblum
nrosenblum@vomny.org

Louis Santoro
lsantoro@vomny.org

Toni Ryan
trusteeryan@yahoo.com

John Hoffstetter
johnmhofstetter@yahoo.com

Sid Albert
rsidalbert@optonline.net

East Coast bike relay event to protest BSL, Aug 29–Sept 2

Bless the Bullys Pit Bull Rescue & Education and Southern Ontario Animal Rescue (SOAR) invite you to take part in a unique effort to bring awareness to breed specific legislation, rescue, and responsible dog ownership.

Bikers and Bullys Without Borders” is a bike ride from Miami, Florida to Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and is an effort to demonstrate a united stance against BSL. Just as BSL has no borders, the effort to stop it knows no borders, as well.

The ride is taking place from August 29 to September 2, 2012. It starts in Miami, FL and goes up the east coast finishing in Toronto, Canada.

We are dedicating the ride to Lennox and the Barnes family, the people who loved and fought to save his life. After a two year battle, Lennox was killed last week by the Belfast, Ireland council simply because he looked like a “pit bull.” We are having a stuffed Lennox made, and along each stop on the route, he will be handed off to the next group of riders, along with any notes of condolence and support to the Barnes family. After the ride, both the stuffed Lennox and all the cards and letters will be sent to the Barnes family to show that although we are separated by thousands of miles, we stand united with them in their fight, and we all mourn the death of an innocent animal.

You don’t need to be part of an animal welfare organization to take part in the ride…you only need to have a desire to see BSL come to an end so that no dog and no family ever face the heartbreak and anguish of breed specific legislation again.

SOAR is organizing the troops for a vote on the Ontario pit bull ban in September, and using the bike rally as a fundraiser for their efforts to end BSL there. However, those taking parts in the states can simply use the ride to bring awareness to the fight against BSL, and to promote rescue and responsible dog ownership.

We need every leg of the ride filled – even if its just one bike – so that Lennox and our messages to the family can make it to Canada. Please consider taking part in this very special event, and share this with your friends and bike clubs who may be interested in taking part. Just like the effort to stop BSL, we really need YOU to make this happen!

More information on the ride can be found at the SOAR website, or you can contact me at jodi@blessthebullys.com. The route for the ride can be found here.

New York: Assembly Bill 3507 would prohibit insurance breed discrimination

New York Assembly Bill 3507 prohibits insurers from refusing to issue or renew, cancel, or charge or impose an increased premium for homeowners’ insurance policies based on the breed of a dog owned.

Insurers may still take any of these actions if the individual dog has been declared dangerous. (In New York, dogs cannot be declared dangerous based on breed.)

This bill has passed the Assembly and is now on the Senate side.

New York residents, please contact your Senators and show your support for this bill! Find your Senator here: http://www.nysenate.gov/

Bill tracking page: http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?default_fld=&bn=A03507&term=&Summary=Y&Actions=Y&Text=Y

Many thanks to North East Animal Rescue for the info.

Dunkirk, NY: Council talks about BSL

After residents expressed concerns about dangerous dogs in their community, Councilmember Michael Michalski said a breed-specific ban would have his full support.

There followed a bit of back-and-forth between councilmembers about the feasibility of a breed ban. Council seems to be aware that New York state law prohibits them from passing a breed-specific ordinance. Councilmembers generally felt that dog attacks had increased, and they need to do something, but didn’t know what.

Although BSL is not a possibility for Dunkirk, the council may benefit from breed-neutral suggestions and education so that they can choose an effective and appropriate path toward increased public safety.

If you would like to get involved in Dunkirk, please contact the city council here: http://www.cityofdunkirk.com/node/18

News article about this Dunkirk council meeting: http://www.observertoday.com/page/content.detail/id/564544/Residents-talk-about-dog-attacks-in-Dunkirk.html?nav=5047

 

Schenectady, NY: Council discusses dog problems

A couple of city councilmembers in Schenectady, New York, apparently think that BSL is the most reasonable option to resolve their dog problems. There’s only one problem—state law doesn’t allow them to enact BSL.

There are a number of breed-neutral options on the table for council to consider. Residents and locals may wish to participate in this discussion and offer additional breed-neutral options for the council’s consideration. From the public comments made by two of the councilmembers (in article below), it seems that some gentle education about stereotypes and discrimination are in order as well.

Next city council committee meeting: September 19, 5:30 PM, Room 110, City Hall, 105 Jay Street, Schenectady, New York 12305.
Next city council full meeting: September 26, 7:00 PM, Room 209, City Hall, 105 Jay Street, Schenectady, New York 12305.
To contact any of the City Council Members via e-mail: cthorne@schenectadyny.gov

Council mulls pit bull issue

Schenectady officials discuss attacks and consider what to do

By LAUREN STANFORTH Staff writer
Updated 07:08 a.m., Wednesday, September 7, 2011

SCHENECTADY — City Council members at their Tuesday night meeting discussed two recent pit bull attacks and came to one conclusion — they don’t know what tack to take to eliminate dangerous dogs roaming city streets. […]

“People keep saying ‘poor little bit bull,'” said City Councilman Joe Allen. “I’ve never seen a nice pit bull in my life. They’re scary.” And their owners …”are even scarier,” City Councilwoman Denise Brucker said, completing Allen’s sentence. […]

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Council-mulls-pit-bull-issue-2158290.php#ixzz1Xxf9Thar