NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A4075
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 OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The objective of this legislation is to prevent insurance companies from
discriminating against homeowners based on the breed of dog that they
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 permit-
ted as long as such a determination is based upon sound underwriting and
actuarial principles reasonably related to actual or anticipated loss.
These provisions shall not prohibit an insurer from increasing premium
or rate based upon prior paid liability claims if that dog or dogs still
reside in the insured's home or household.
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 partic-
ular breed of dog is a legitimate basis for higher homeowner insurance
premiums. This erroneous practice has placed pet owners in an undeserved
bind. While pet owners deserve adequate and affordable homeowner insur-
ance, they are unable to obtain it without removing their friendly
animal from the family unit.
For years, insurance companies that offer homeowners insurance have
avoided loss because of the burglary prevention provided by homeowners'
dogs. It is unacceptable that now insurance companies would want the
ability to deny coverage based on the exact same breed of dog that may
have protected the homeowners and the insurance company from loss.
This bill would uphold the sanctity of the law by ending the discrimi-
nation 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 compan-
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2020: Reported from Insurance referred to Codes
2019: Referred to Insurance
2018: Ordered to third reading
2017: Passed Assembly
2016: Advanced to third reading cal.759
2015: Referred to insurance
2013-14 A3952 Died in Senate, returned to assembly, ordered to third
2012 A.3507 a Passed Assembly.
2011 A.3507 Reported from Insurance referred to Codes.
2009-10 A.2566 Referred to Insurance.
2007-08 A.1896-8 Reported from Insurance referred to Codes.
2006 A1824 Reported and referred to Codes.
2005-06 A1824 Reported and referred to Rules.
2003-04 Reported from Insurance and Referred to Codes
None to the State.
On the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law and shall apply to
all policies issued, renewed, modified, altered or amended on or after
such effective date.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
February 1, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. GLICK, O'DONNELL, COLTON, ENGLEBRIGHT, L. ROSEN-
THAL, PERRY, ZEBROWSKI, BYRNE, JACOBSON, EPSTEIN, WEPRIN, GOTTFRIED,
LAVINE, BRONSON -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. SIMON -- read once
and referred to the Committee on Insurance
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:
1 Section 1. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 3421
2 to read as follows:
3 § 3421. Homeowners' liability insurance; dogs. 1. With respect to
4 homeowners' insurance policies as defined in section two thousand three
5 hundred fifty-one of this chapter, 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.
9 2. The provisions of this section shall not prohibit an insurer from
10 refusing to issue or renew or from canceling any such contract or poli-
11 cy, nor from imposing a reasonably increased premium or rate for such a
12 policy or contract based upon the designation of a dog of any breed or
13 mixture of breeds as a dangerous dog pursuant to section one hundred
14 twenty-three of the agriculture and markets law, based on sound under-
15 writing and actuarial principles reasonably related to actual or antic-
16 ipated loss experience subject to the applicable provisions of section
17 three thousand four hundred twenty-five of this article.
18 § 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
19 have become a law and shall apply to all policies issued, renewed, modi-
20 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.