In January 2022, New York dog owners will no longer face homeowner’s insurance discrimination based on the breed of dog they own.
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 (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.
The bill will go into effect in 90 days.
What You Can Do
AKC Government Relations thanks the New York dog owners who took the time to contact their legislators and the governor in support of this issue. We encourage you to do the following:
Contact Governor Kathy Hochul and thank her for signing the law:
Online form: https://www.governor.ny.gov/content/governor-contact-form
The Honorable Kathy Hochul
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Please also contact the bill sponsors and thank them for introducing this bill. If you are a constituent, be sure to mention that when contacting them:
Senator Michael Gianaris (Dist. 12- Queens)
Assemblywoman Deborah Glick (Dist. 66- Manhattan)
For questions or more information, contact AKC Government Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org.