Last year a bill was introduced in the New York state legislature that would address breed discrimination in insurance practices.
The bill, A3952, would prohibit insurance companies that conduct business in New York state from canceling or refusing to issue a policy based solely on the breed of the clients dogs. The bill died in the Senate during the 2013 session because the session ended.
Not only would this bill prevent companies from refusing to issue or canceling coverage, this bill would also prevent differential pricing based on the breed of dog of the insured.
The direct language of the bill states that,
NO INSURER SHALL REFUSE TO ISSUE OR 6 RENEW, CANCEL, OR CHARGE OR IMPOSE AN INCREASED PREMIUM OR RATE FOR SUCH 7 POLICY OR CONTRACT BASED SOLELY UPON HARBORING OR OWNING ANY DOG OF A 8 SPECIFIC BREED OR MIXTURE OF BREEDS.
The bill does not prevent insurers from canceling or refusing coverage to dogs who have been declared dangerous or have a bite history or history of aggressive behavior specific to that dog.
On January 8th the bill was reintroduced to the New York legislature. The Senate returned the bill to assembly. The bill was then ordered to its third reading.
A3952 is on the calendar for Wednesday, January 22nd 2014.
This bill would help so many people in the community.
It would help renters by eliminating discriminatory policies for those who own property, making it easier for landlords who would be open to renting to some one with a targeted dog to do so. This increases housing options and as a result, owner retention in situations where people have to move.
They also help to compensate victims of dog bites by increasing the pool of covered owners.
They also help a lot of dog owners. Insurance companies can restrict any breed of dog they wish. There are currently quite a few breeds and mixes that cannot get coverage. This is NOT just a “pit bull” issue. It effects the owners of German Shepherds, Chow Chows, Rottweilers, Akita, Husky, Malamute, every dog that is on one insurance list or another.
NEW YORK RESIDENTS: Please reach out now and tell your legislators that you support this bill.
You can find you Assembly members on the states website here.
Because of the powerful opposition to any form of insurance regulations, it is incredibly important that legislators constituents reach out to support such measures.