BSL: Breed Law

MD Lawmakers Propose Law to End Breed Discrimination by Insurance Companies

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Maryland lawmakers have proposed legislation that would prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against certain breeds of dogs in homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance policies.

Breed Discrimination

Senate Bill 647 was introduced by Sen. Katherine A. Klausmeier (D-Baltimore County) in an effort to simplify coverage, ensure policyholders are equally covered, regardless of their dogs breed or mix of breeds, and to help end breed discrimination by insurance companies.

The proposed legislation would require insurers to either cover losses by all dog breeds, or none at all. Under the current law, insurance companies either deny coverage to certain dog breeds, most commonly pit bulls (or dogs having the characteristics common to pit bulls), Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, and other typically discriminated breeds, or, they increase costs to homeowners and renters that share their homes with certain breeds.

Those in support of the bill say insurers should base their rates and coverage on actual risk, not on “outdated breed stereotypes.”

“Insurance companies should identify individual dogs that have a history that may predict their likelihood of being dangerous in the future,” said Emily Hovermale, director of the Maryland/Delaware chapter of the Humane Society of America.

What’s your position? Should insurance companies be permitted to discriminate against certain breeds? Please share your thoughts in a comment below!

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Insurance companies should be allowed to discriminate based on actual risk, such as a dog with a bite history, but it’s certainly not fair to discriminate against breed. Yes, some breeds are predisposed to aggressive tendencies but until they pose a proven threat, equal coverage should be available.

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