The American Kennel Club (AKC) has learned that Massachusetts House Bill 918 will be heard by the...
The American Kennel Club (AKC) has learned that Massachusetts House Bill 918 will be heard by the Joint Financial Services Committee on Tuesday, September 17, 2013.
The bill seeks to prohibit insurance companies from refusing to issue or renew, cancel, or charge an increased rate for homeowners’ insurance based on the breed of dog owned by the policy holder. Both the AKC and the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners (MassFed) support HB 918.
As introduced, House Bill 918 prohibits insurance companies from refusing to issue or renew, cancelling, or charging an increased rate for homeowners’ insurance based on the breed owned. The bill does allow for insurance companies to take these actions if the dog has been declared dangerous based on current law. Additionally, all dog bite/attack cases that result in medical treatment must be reported within 60 days of the incident to Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health, which will compile statistics on the issue. Insurers will be released from liability for paying for damages if owners fail to report a qualifying incident within 60 days.
The American Kennel Club believes that insurance companies should determine coverage of a dog-owning household based on the dog’s deeds, not the dog’s breed. If a dog is a well-behaved member of the household and community, there is no reason to deny or cancel coverage. In fact, insurance companies should consider a dog an asset, a natural alarm system whose bark may deter intruders and prevent potential theft.
The American Kennel Club supports House Bill 918 as introduced.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Contact the members of the Joint Committee on Financial Services and express your strong support of HB 918. (For talking points against breed-specific legislation and practices, click here.)
Senator Anthony W. Petruccelli, Senate Chair
Senator Brian A. Joyce, Senate Vice Chair
Senator John F. Keenan
Senator Michael J. Rodrigues
Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives
Senator Robert L. Hedlund
Representative Michael A. Costello
Representative John V. Fernandes
Representative Christopher G. Fallon
Representative James J. Dwyer
Representative Russell E. Holmes
Representative Marjorie C. Decker
Representative Donald H. Wong
Representative Kevin J. Murphy
Representative Edward F. Coppinger
Representative John J. Lawn, Jr.
Representative Susan Williams Gifford
For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720, or email firstname.lastname@example.org; or the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners at email@example.com.
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