Currently insurance companies can deny or drop coverage and charge higher premiums based solely on the breed of the family dog. A bill sponsored by Rep. John Kavanagh HB2323: homeowner’s insurance; dogs; nondiscrimination, would prohibit insurance companies from hiking rates or denying people homeowners’ insurance based on the type of dog they keep.
At a time of unprecedented housing challenges, the cost and availability of property insurance is often an unnecessary barrier to housing for responsible dog owners across the country.
This is because the vast majority of property insurance companies hike the cost of premiums or deny insurance coverage for customers who have specific breeds of dogs. The range of dog breeds captured by this arbitrary practice includes many common and beloved breeds such as Labrador Retrievers, Boxers, Giant Schnauzers, German Shepherds, Dobermans, Chows, Great Danes, Alaskan Malamutes and more. This causes many thousands of responsible dog owners to be burdened with harsh financial and emotional consequences.
This practice is unjustified and unsupported by data. There is also no evidence to support that insurance claims for the prohibited breeds are financially significant for insurance carriers relative to other paid losses. Homebuyers are required to obtain property insurance coverage as a prerequisite to obtaining a mortgage. Yet many insurance companies refuse to provide coverage for dog owners of certain breeds, which puts customers in the position of having to choose between owning a home and their family pet. Learn more in this white paper by animal welfare organizations.
Past behavior is a much stronger indicator of current behavior than genetics, so HB2323 specifically reserves insurers’ latitude to cancel, refuse to issue or renew or to increase premiums for households in which a resident dog of any breed has a history of aggression.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
UPDATE: HB2323 passed the AZ House of Representatives on March 17 by a vote of 42-16-2! Thanks to everyone who asked their representatives to support this bill. You can see how your two House members voted here. If your legislators voted ‘yes’, please thank them for supporting HB2323. Be sure to mention that you are a constituent. You can reach all House members here. Also, thanks to the legislators who spoke compellingly in support of the bill, including Representatives Payne, Osborne, Andrade, Longdon, Cook, and Sponsor Kavanagh. You can watch the House floor vote here. HB2323 was transferred to the Senate and we will be again asking for your help to get the bill passed and signed into law.