Prohibits insurers from refusing to issue or renew, cancel, or charge or impose an increased premium for homeowners' insurance policies based solely on the breed of dog owned.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to prohibiting insurers from canceling, refusing to issue or renew, or charging higher premiums for homeowners' insurance based on the breed of dog owned
PURPOSE: The objective of this legislation is to prevent insurance companies from discriminating against homeowners and renters based on the breed of dog that they own.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This act would clarify the law in such a manner as to prohibit insurance companies from refusing to issue or renew an insurance policy, from canceling a policy and from charging higher premiums based on ownership of a particular breed of dog. However, when there is a 'dangerous dog' finding under the agriculture and markets law, the refusal to issue or renew a policy, or imposition of higher premiums would still be permitted as long as such a determination is based upon sound underwriting and actuarial principles reasonably related to actual or anticipated loss.
JUSTIFICATION: If a dog had ever attacked and caused injury to a person then there may be a legitimate basis for higher homeowner insurance premiums. However, the current insurance law suggests that the mere ownership of a particular breed of dog is a legitimate basis for higher homeowner insurance premiums. This erroneous practice has placed pet owners in a undeserved bind. While pet owners deserve adequate and affordable homeowner insurance, they are unable to obtain it without removing their friendly animal from the family unit.
This bill would uphold the sanctity of the law by ending the discrimination of homeowners based on the breed of dog that they own. As an equal and fair society, it is key that we amend the insurance law to protect the interests of both homeowners and their kind-hearted companion animals.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2003-2004: S.3888 Referred to Insurance 2007-2008: S.1704 Referred to Insurance 2009-2010: S.404 Referred to Insurance
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it becomes a law and shall apply to all policies issued, renewed, modified, altered or amended on or after such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3092--B 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 8, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. ROBACH -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Insurance -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- recommitted to the Committee on Insurance in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit- tee AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to prohibiting insurers from canceling, refusing to issue or renew, or charging higher premi- ums for homeowners' 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. 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 POLI- CY, 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 UNDER- WRITING AND ACTUARIAL PRINCIPLES REASONABLY RELATED TO ACTUAL OR ANTIC- IPATED 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 on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law and shall apply to all policies issued, renewed, modi- fied, altered or amended on or after such effective date.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01916-05-1