New York ends dog breed discrimination by insurance companies

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The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) recently praised New York State lawmakers and Governor Kathy Hochul for enacting key legislation banning insurance companies from using the breed of a dog to determine the owner’s insurance coverage.

With this new law, which goes into effect 90 days after its enactment, New York joins Nevada as only two states to have enacted laws banning this discriminatory practice.

“During a time of unprecedented housing challenges for New Yorkers, the cost and availability of insurance has become an even more onerous barrier to homeownership for families with pets,” said Bill Ketzer, senior director of state law for the ASPCA, Eastern Division. “This new law will prevent insurance companies from overcharging or denying coverage to families simply because they own a specific breed of dog, removing barriers to housing for thousands of responsible New York dog owners.”

The vast majority of property insurance providers deny or dramatically increase homeowners coverage and renewals for households with certain breeds of dogs in the home, but there is no evidence to support this policy as the Insurance claims data does not support the idea that certain breeds of dogs are a greater risk compared to non-restricted breeds.

“Too often people have had to choose between their beloved pets and home insurance. It’s an unfair situation that Governor Hochul has now remedied using the power of the pen,” Libby said. Post, executive director of the NYS Animal Protection Federation. “The unfair practice of insurance companies discriminating against owners based on their breed of dog has been permanently stopped in New York State. This is a big step forward. Owners and their dogs will now be treated fairly .”

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In recent years, a growing number of states and local governments have taken steps to prohibit the regulation of dog ownership based on the dog’s breed or breed appearance.

These jurisdictions recognize the broad consensus that breed restrictions are an ineffective and inaccurate tool to prevent dog-related risks and instead rely on objective facts to determine whether individual dogs pose public risks.

“These new laws ensure that our animals are treated with the dignity they deserve. Our four-legged friends are valued companions who are part of our families and deserve to be respected,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “We still have work to do, but these are important advances in the cause of animal rights.”

Past behavior is a much stronger indicator of current behavior than genetics, so this legislation specifically reserves the discretion of insurers to cancel, refuse to issue or renew or increase premiums for households in which a dog resident of any race has a history of aggression.

“Dogs of all breeds are cherished members of our families, but based on debunked claims and sensational media coverage, the insurance industry has discriminated against dog owners based solely on the breed of their dog. companion,” Assembly Member Deborah Glick said. “In her later years, my mother had a German Shepherd as a companion – my sisters and I called her Ginger – and she was the sweetest, sweetest dog. Under this new law, no New Yorker will be required by his insurance company to choose between a dog like Ginger and their home.” In addition to enacting this new law, state lawmakers have taken several other steps to better protect animals in 2021, including: Preventing burdensome new requirements for veterinarians that would have reduced access to care.

· Passed legislation banning the slaughter of racehorses while funding the tracking of retired horses and requiring racehorses to be microchipped. Visit www.aspca.org to learn more about the ASPCA or to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade.

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