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.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to prohibiting insurers from cancelling, refusing to issue or renew homeowner's insurance based on the breed of dog owned
PURPOSE: To prohibit insurers from cancelling a homeowner's liability insurance policy based on the ownership of a specific breed of dog.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 3421 to read as follows: Homeowner's liability insurance; dogs. No insurer issuing a policy or contract insuring against liability for injury to any person, or injury to or destruction of property arising out of ownership or lease of residential one, two, three or four dwelling real property shall refuse to issue, renew or cancel for such policy or contract based, in whole or in part, upon the harboring of any specific breed or breeds of dog or dogs upon such real property. The rates for that portion of any such policy or contract which insures against liability for injury to any person, or injury to or destruction of property shall be based on sound underwriting and actuarial principles. However, if any such dog has been designated as a dangerous dog pursuant to section one hundred twenty-three of the agriculture and markets law, the provisions of this section shall in no manner prohibit an insurer from refusing to issue or renew or from cancelling any such contract or policy, nor from imposing an increased premium or rate for such a policy or contract 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.
A dog's temperament cannot be fairly predicted based upon its breed. Breed specific insurance qualifications regulate all owners of dogs of all targeted breeds despite substantial evidence that viciousness is not a specific breed characteristic. Viciousness can and does occur in any breed of dog. Thus, cancelling a homeowner's liability insurance policy based on the dog owned is an impractical approach to regulation of dogs. Breed specific regulations may alleviate the anxieties of those who are particularly concerned about the reputation of particular dog breeds; however, breed specific regulation is usually intended to avoid specific types of behavior believed to predominate in the breed. Whether aggression or other behaviors are predictable in certain breeds as to justify separate treatment of the breed is impractical. Such regulation fails to adequately address the real problem; aggressive dogs. This legislation will prohibit insurers
from cancelling a homeowner's liability insurance policy based on his or her ownership of a targeted breed of dog.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2000: S. 1929 - Referred to Insurance 2002: S. 402 - Referred to Insurance 2004: S. 3998 - Referred to Insurance 2006: S.2289 - Referred to Insurance 2008: S.3856 - Referred to Insurance 2012: S.5103 - Referred to Insurance
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all policies issued, renewed, modified, altered or amended on or after such date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2568 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 22, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. BALL -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Insurance AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to prohibiting insurers from cancelling, refusing to issue or renew homeowner's insurance based on the breed of dog owned THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 3421 to read as follows: S 3421. HOMEOWNER'S LIABILITY INSURANCE; DOGS. NO INSURER ISSUING A POLICY OR CONTRACT INSURING AGAINST LIABILITY FOR INJURY TO ANY PERSON, OR INJURY TO OR DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY ARISING OUT OF OWNERSHIP OR LEASE OF RESIDENTIAL ONE, TWO, THREE OR FOUR DWELLING REAL PROPERTY SHALL REFUSE TO ISSUE, RENEW OR CANCEL FOR SUCH A POLICY OR CONTRACT BASED, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, UPON THE HARBORING OF ANY SPECIFIC BREED OR BREEDS OF DOG OR DOGS UPON SUCH REAL PROPERTY. THE RATES FOR THAT PORTION OF ANY SUCH POLICY OR CONTRACT WHICH INSURES AGAINST LIABILITY FOR INJURY TO ANY PERSON, OR INJURY TO OR DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY SHALL BE BASED ON SOUND UNDERWRITING AND ACTUARIAL PRINCIPLES. HOWEVER, IF ANY SUCH DOG HAS BEEN DESIGNATED AS A DANGEROUS DOG PURSUANT TO SECTION ONE HUNDRED TWENTY-THREE OF THE AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW, THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL IN NO MANNER PROHIBIT AN INSURER FROM REFUSING TO ISSUE OR RENEW OR FROM CANCELLING ANY SUCH CONTRACT OR POLICY, NOR FROM IMPOSING AN INCREASED PREMIUM OR RATE FOR SUCH A POLICY OR CONTRACT 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. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and shall apply to all policies issued, renewed, modified, altered or amended on or after such date.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD07298-01-3