A lawmaker is seeking to make it illegal for insurers to inquire about the breed of a policyholder’s dog.
A Connecticut lawmaker is now moving forward in an effort to ban homeowners insurance companies from being able to ask about or discriminate against the breed of a policyholder’s dog, when they are issuing coverage within that state.
Republican Rep. Brenda Kupchick is trying to make it easier for certain dog owners to obtain coverage.
Kupchick, of Fairfiel, Connecticut, has stated that her constituents have found it challenging to the point of being quite difficult, in attempting to obtain a homeowners insurance policy when they also own certain breeds of dogs. Among those breeds are Rottweilers, as well as certain types of terrier, such as pit-bulls and other similar breeds. When insurance companies find out that one of these types of dogs will be living in the home, they will often charge higher premiums, cancel the coverage altogether, or refuse to write it in the first place.
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Some homeowners insurance companies feel that the risk associated with the liability for these dogs is significant.
According to the Insurance Association of Connecticut, some home insurance companies will charge more for certain dog breeds – or will not want to provide coverage when these breeds are present – because the liability rises. The association explained that if the law proposed by Kupchick is enacted, then it will cause all residential property premiums to rise in order to compensate for this risk.
In 2013 – the most recent year in which the data was available – dog bite claims made up more than one out of every three homeowners insurance liability claims that were paid. That data is according to the records at the Insurance Information Institute. Connecticut is not the only state in which insurers are allowed to ask about the breed of a dog and factor the answer into their premiums calculations, or even their decision as to whether or not they will even provide coverage. There are also certain municipalities and communities that have laws and regulations with respect to certain breeds of dogs and the added steps which must be taken for their ownership.