Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, 66th Assembly District Manhattan, announced today the passage of legislation A.4075, which prevents insurers from refusing to insure or increasing rates for homeowners based solely on the breed of dog living in the home. Current law allows insurance companies to make discriminatory coverage and rate decisions merely on the grounds of owning a particular dog breed. This legislation brings New York insurance law in conformity with the fact that risks associated with dogs are associated with training, care, and socialization, and not determined by breed.
Assemblymember Glick said, “Dogs are not only loved companions; they are also family protectors and deterrents against criminals. Insurance providers have inappropriately discriminated against dog owners of particular breeds based on sensational media coverage, misconstrued statistics, and a misunderstanding of canine behavior and training. With this bill signed into law, New York dog lovers will not have to choose between their four-legged companion and insurance coverage for their home, and more dogs will be able to be adopted by loving homes. I applaud Senator Gianaris for championing this bill in the Senate, and I look forward to Governor Cuomo signing this bill into law.”
Bill Ketzer, Senior Director of State Legislation for the ASPCA, Eastern Division said, “For too long, responsible New York dog owners have been forced to choose between a beloved family companion and insurance coverage for their homes because insurance companies routinely deny coverage or charge higher premiums based solely on ownership of certain dog breeds.This heartbreaking choice is one no homeowner should have to make. This legislation finally puts an end to this arbitrary and unfair practice and will ensure that when it comes to homeowner’s insurance, all dogs are judged by their behavior, not their breed. We thank Assemblymember Glick for addressing this long-standing inequity head on in 2021 and urge Governor Cuomo to sign this important reform into law.”
Brian Shapiro, New York State Director for the Humane Society of the United States said, “Discrimination against specific breeds of dogs in the issuance of insurance policies has been a terrible burden on New York homeowners for too long. There’s no common sense in denying coverage for families just because their pet may be a pit bull or some other perceived breed. The HSUS applauds Assemblymember Deborah Glick for her leadership and support of legislation that protects both animals and consumers. We respectfully urge Governor Cuomo to sign this meaningful legislation into law.”
Libby Post, Executive Director of the NYS Animal Protection Federation said, “Finally, homeowners can rest easy—they don’t have to make the Solomon-like decision of choosing between insuring one’s home or keeping a beloved dog that has a special place in their family. Every time New York stops discrimination it is a step toward a more equitable state. Assemblymember Glick has championed this legislation for years. She understands how important pets are to a family’s quality of life and that people shouldn’t be forced to make this horrible choice. This bill has been one of the Federation’s top priorities because this discrimination is unfounded and based on sensationalized media coverage of dog bites. You only see the stories about a Pit Bull biting someone, you never read about the Chihuahua that also has a propensity to bite. All too often, when people are forced to give up their beloved dogs because insurance companies routinely discriminate based on breed, those dogs end up at animal shelters across the state. This is just one more example of how the state’s animal shelters step up to care for animals left homeless through no fault of their own.”
The legislation will now be sent to Governor Cuomo for his approval.