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Maine Bill Would Prohibit Breed Discrimination by Property Insurance Companies

(Wednesday, April 17, 2013)

Maine LD 1192, sponsored by Representative Justin Chenette, will be considered by the Joint Committee on Insurance and Financial Services on April 25. The bill seeks to prohibit insurance companies from cancelling, refusing to issue, or charging an increased premium for a property insurance policy solely on the basis of a policyholder's ownership of a certain breed of dog. The American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Federation of Maine Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners both support LD 1192. All concerned Maine citizens are encouraged to contact the committee members (listed below) and urge them to support LD 1192.

Summary:
As introduced, LD 1192 prohibits insurance companies from cancelling, refusing to issue, or charging an increased premium for a property insurance policy solely on the basis of a policyholder's ownership of a certain breed of dog. Additionally, the bill provides that insurance companies are not prohibited from such actions if a dog has been designated as a dangerous dog in accordance with state law.

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 my deter intruders and prevent potential theft.

What You Can Do:
Maine residents are encouraged to contact the members of the Joint Committee on Insurance and Financial Services, and express your strong support of LD 1192. (For talking points regarding breed-specific legislation and practices, click here.)

Sen. Geoffrey M. Gratwick, Chair
E-mail: Sengeoff.gratwick@legislature.maine.gov

Rep. Sharon Anglin Treat, Chair
E-mail: RepSharon.Treat@legislature.maine.gov

Rep. Joyce A. Fitzpatrick, Ranking Minority Member
E-mail: RepJoyce.Fitzpatrick@legislature.maine.gov

Sen. Richard G. Woodbury
E-mail: Dick@dickwoodbury.com

Sen. Rodney L. Whittemore
E-mail: rodwhittemore@gmail.com

Rep. Paulette G. Beaudoin
E-mail: RepPaulette.Beaudoin@legislature.maine.gov

Rep. Henry E. M. Beck
E-mail: RepHenry.Beck@legislature.maine.gov

Rep. Terry K. Morrison
E-mail: RepTerry.Morrison@legislature.maine.gov

Rep. Janice E. Cooper
E-mail: RepJanice.Cooper@legislature.maine.gov

Rep. Jane P. Pringle
E-mail: RepJane.Pringle@legislature.maine.gov

Rep. Michael D. McClellan
E-mail: RepMichael.McClellan@legislature.maine.gov

Rep. Raymond A. Wallace
E-mail: RepRay.Wallace@legislature.maine.gov

Rep. Peter Doak
E-mail: RepPeter.Doak@legislature.maine.gov

CC: Committee Clerk Molly Gallant – molly.gallant@legislature.maine.gov

For more information, contact AKC's Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or email doglaw@akc.org; or Jay Kitchener with the Federation of Maine Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners at (207) 646-8121, or email jay.kitchener@yahoo.com.