UPDATE: Governor Ducey has signed the Insurance Bill Discrimination Bill into law! If your legislators voted ‘yes’ on HB2323, please thank them (links to all votes below). Thanks to bill sponsor Rep Kavanagh and Best Friends Animal Society for their efforts to get this measure passed!
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
HB2323 passed the final vote in the AZ House of Representatives on May 16 by a vote of 43-10-7 and is on the governor’s desk! Thanks to everyone who asked their legislators to support this bill! You can see how your two House members voted here. The bill previously passed the Senate by a vote of 26-1-3. You can see how your Senator voted here.