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The American Kennel Club (AKC®), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and advocate for all dogs, is pleased to express strong support and appreciation for the passage of the New York State Law, going into effect in January 2022, which will ban homeowners insurance breed discrimination.
On Saturday, October 30, New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed Senate Bill 4254 (now Chapter 545), which states, “With respect to homeowners’ insurance policies…no insurer shall refuse to issue or renew, cancel, or charge or impose an increased premium or rate…based solely upon harboring or owning any dog of a specific breed or mixture of breeds.”
Insurance companies may cancel, increase rates, or refuse to issue policies if a dog is declared dangerous as defined in New York State Law, so long as the action is based on “sound underwriting and actuarial principles” and the action is reasonably related to actual or anticipated loss. However, the action cannot be based on the dog’s breed.
For the past 10 years, AKC has advocated for legislation in New York on this issue which will protect responsible dog owners from situations where they are unable to obtain or afford homeowner’s insurance simply because of the breed of dog they own.
New York state law already expressly prohibits municipalities from passing laws that target specific breeds of dogs. The new law (formerly A. 4075 and S. 4254) extends these protections to homeowners who are responsible dog owners, while still holding all dog owners accountable, regardless of the breed they choose to own.
“AKC is grateful to New York Governor Kathy Hochul as well as Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick for sponsoring this law, which will ban homeowner’s insurance breed discrimination,” said AKC President & CEO, Dennis Sprung. “Thanks to this new legislation, effective January 2022, New York dog owners will be protected from having higher rates or being denied homeowner’s insurance based on the breed of dog they own.”
The AKC also thanks the New York dog owners who took the time to contact their legislators and the Governor in support of this issue. This bill will go into effect 90 days from the date of signing.
For more information, visit the AKC Government Relations Legislative Action Center on Breed Specific Legislation.