Support Massachusetts Bill To Eliminate Breed-Specific Bans In Insurance Policies!

Support Massachusetts Bill To Eliminate Breed-Specific Bans In Insurance Policies!

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has learned that Massachusetts House Bill 2054 will be heard by the Joint Committee on Financial Services on Tuesday, September 13.  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 American Kennel Club and the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners support HB 2054.

Summary:
As introduced, House Bill 2054 prohibits insurance companies from refusing to issue or renew, cancelling, or charging an increased rate for homeowners’ insurance policies 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 the state’s Department of Public Health (DPH), 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. 

Position:
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 the 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 2054 as introduced.

What You Can Do:
Contact the members of the Joint Committee on Financial Services and express your strong support of HB 2054.  (For talking points against breed-specific legislation and practices, click here.)

Senate Members:

Senator Anthony Petruccelli, Senate Chair
Phone: 617-722-1634
Fax: 617-722-1076
Email: Anthony.Petruccelli@masenate.gov

Senator Brian A. Joyce, Senate Vice Chair 
Phone: 617-722-1643
Fax: 617-722-1522
Email: Brian.A.Joyce@masenate.gov

Senator Michael J. Rodrigues
Phone: 617-722-1114
Fax: 617-722-1498
Email: Michael.Rodrigues@masenate.gov

Senator John F. Keenan
Phone: 617-722-1494
Fax: 617-722-1055
Email: John.Keenan@masenate.gov

Senator Gale D. Candaras
Phone: 617-722-1291
Fax: 617-722-1014
Email: Gale.Candaras@masenate.gov

Senator Michael R. Knapik
Phone: 617-722-1415
Fax: 617-722-1506
Email: Michael.Knapik@masenate.gov

House Members:

Representative Michael A. Costello, House Chair
Phone: 617-722-2220
Fax: 617-722-2846
Email: Michael.Costello@mahouse.gov

Representative Carlo P. Basile, House Vice Chair
Phone: 617-722-2220
Fax: 617-626-0736
Email: Carlo.Basile@mahouse.gov

Representative Christopher G. Fallon
Phone: 617-722-2430
Fax: 617-722-2436
Email: Christopher.Fallon@mahouse.gov

Representative Lori A. Ehrlich
Phone: 617-722-2014
Email: Lori.Ehrlich@mahouse.gov

Representative James J. Dwyer
Phone: 617-722-2220
Fax: 617-626-0831
Email: James.Dwyer@mahouse.gov

Representative Russell E. Holmes
Phone: 617-722-2220
Fax: 617-626-0205
Email: Russell.Holmes@mahouse.gov

Representative Marc T. Lombardo
Phone: 617-722-2460
Fax: 617-626-0240
Email: Marc.Lombardo@mahouse.gov

Representative Kevin J. Murphy
Phone: 617-722-2877
Fax: 617-626-0514
Email: Kevin.Murphy@mahouse.gov

Representative James M. Cantwell
Phone: 617-722-2140
Fax: 617-626-0835
Email: James.Cantwell@mahouse.gov

Representative Timothy R. Madden
Phone: 617-722-2810
Fax: 617-722-2846
Email: Timothy.Madden@mahouse.gov

Representative Nicholas A. Boldyga
Phone: 617-722-2810
Fax: 617-626-0137
Email: Nicholas.Boldyga@mahouse.gov

For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at 919-816-3720, or email doglaw@akc.org; or the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible dog Owners at info@massfeddogs.org.