senate Bill S624

Prohibits insurers from refusing to issue or renew, cancel, or charge or impose an increased premium for certain policies based on the breed of a dog owned

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO INSURANCE
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO INSURANCE

Summary

Prohibits insurers from refusing to issue or renew, cancel, or charge or impose an increased premium for homeowners' insurance policies based on the breed of a dog owned if the dog completes an approved obedience course.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S624
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Insurance
Law Section:
Insurance Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง3421, Ins L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S1710
2009-2010: S93

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S624

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 if the dog
completes an approved obedience course

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To limit insurers' ability to
summarily cancel insurance coverage, raise rates or refuse to renew
homeowners :nsurance policies based on the breed of dog such insured
owns.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
The insurance law is amended by adding
a new section 3421. This section provides that no insurer shall
refuse to issue or renew, cancel, charge or impose an increased rate
for such policy based on harboring a dog or dogs of a specific breed
or "mixed" breed.

Provides that an insurer is not prohibited from refusing to
issue or renew, cancel, or charge or impose an increased rate for
such policy based on a dog"s designation as a "dangerous dog"
pursuant to section 121 of the agriculture and markets law However,
before the insurance company may do any of the above, it must offer
the homeowner the opportunity to enroll their dog in an approved
obedience course. The insurer shall provide the dog 90 days to
successfully complete such course. If the course lasts longer than 90
days the homeowner may show proof that the course lasts longer than
90 days and shall receive an additional 60 days to complete such
course. If the dog successfully completes a course the insurer is
prohibited from refusing to issue or renew, cancel, charge or impose
an increased rate for such policy based upon the designation of such
dog as dangerous.

Section 2: Effective Date

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER:
Currently insurers
are allowed to refuse to issue or renew, cancel, charge or impose an
increased rate for a homeowners' policy based on ownership of certain
breeds of dog.

JUSTIFICATION:
No species of dog is inherently dangerous. Each dog is
a unique individual with a unique personality that is influenced by
their own personal experiences and training When a dog becomes
"dangerous" it is often because their owners encourage aggressiveness
or poor socialization with humans or other dogs. A conscientious
homeowner should not be punished simply because they own a dog that
insurers consider a "dangerous breed".
While insurance companies will site statistics that certain breeds of
dog bite or behave aggressively more than others, each dog is a
unique individual who mayor may not become aggressive.


Insurers must allow homeowners the opportunity to properly train a dog
through an approved course before being allowed to refuse to issue,
renew, cancel, or charge increased rates A proper training course
will encourage good behavior and socialization before problems start.
This is similar to reducing rates when an insured purchases a burglar
or car alarm, takes a defensive driving course etc. When an insured
takes steps to ensure that their dog will behave properly, the
insurer must recognize these efforts.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY
S.3112 of 2007
02/23/07 Referred to Insurance
S.1710 of 2011
01/11/11 Referred to Insurance
01/04/12 Referred to Insurance

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
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 effective date.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   624

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. SAMPSON -- 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  canceling, refusing to issue or renew, or charging higher premi-
  ums for homeowners' insurance based on the breed of dog owned  if  the
  dog completes an approved obedience course

  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, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, UPON HARBORING OR  OWNING
A  DOG  OR  DOGS  OF A SPECIFIC BREED OR BREEDS OR A DOG OR DOGS "MIXED"
WITH A SPECIFIC BREED OR 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 AN 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 UNDERWRITING AND
ACTUARIAL PRINCIPLES REASONABLY RELATED TO ACTUAL  OR  ANTICIPATED  LOSS
EXPERIENCE  SUBJECT  TO THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF SECTION THREE THOU-
SAND FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY-FIVE OF  THIS  ARTICLE.    HOWEVER,  BEFORE  AN
INSURER  MAY REFUSE TO ISSUE, RENEW OR CANCEL SUCH CONTRACT OR POLICY OR
IMPOSE AN INCREASED PREMIUM OR RATE FOR SUCH POLICY  OR  CONTRACT  BASED
UPON  THE  DESIGNATION  OF  A DOG AS DANGEROUS, AN INSURER SHALL PROVIDE
SUCH DANGEROUS DOG NINETY DAYS  TO  SUCCESSFULLY  COMPLETE  AN  APPROVED

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02207-01-3

S. 624                              2

OBEDIENCE  COURSE.  IF  SUCH  COURSE  LASTS LONGER THAN NINETY DAYS, THE
HOMEOWNER MAY SHOW PROOF THAT THE DOG IS ENROLLED  IN  SUCH  COURSE  AND
UPON  SUCH PROOF SHALL RECEIVE AN ADDITIONAL SIXTY DAYS TO COMPLETE SUCH
COURSE.  IF  SUCH  DESIGNATED  DANGEROUS DOG SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES SUCH
COURSE, THE INSURER IS PROHIBITED  FROM  REFUSING  TO  ISSUE,  RENEW  OR
CANCEL  SUCH  POLICY OR CONTRACT OR INCREASE THE PREMIUM OR RATE ON SUCH
POLICY OR CONTRACT BASED UPON THE DESIGNATION OF SUCH DOG AS DANGEROUS.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately and  shall  apply  to  all
policies  issued, renewed, modified, altered or amended on or after such
effective date.

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