Nevada proposal would prohibit insurers from discriminating based on dog breed

Bill protects insurers from increasing or canceling coverage based on breed

by: David Charns

Posted: Mar 8, 2021 / 6:52 PM PST
Updated: March 8, 2021 / 6:58 PM PST

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 13: Lucas, a six year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier, is pictured in a kennel at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home where he lived for 90 days on December 13, 2018 in London, England. Founded in London in 1860, the animal shelter is currently looking for a home for some of its oldest residents. (Photo by Jack Taylor / Getty Images)

CARSON CITY, Nevada – A bill banning property insurers from discriminating based on a breed of dog was filed with the Nevada Legislature on Monday. The Senate Committee on Trade and Labor voted along party lines 4-3 for SB 103 to be passed from the committee.

According to the legislature, the bill prohibits an insurer from issuing, terminating, extending or increasing the premium or tariff for property insurance based solely on the specific breed or mix of breeds of a dog that is housed or owned on the property, it is because the particular dog is known or has been declared dangerous or malicious according to the health laws of that state. “

A law already exists prohibiting communities from discriminating against certain races.

“The American Kennel Club believes that insurance companies should determine coverage for a dog-owning household based on the dog’s behavioral history, not the breed of dog,” said a statement submitted by the American Kennel Club. “For years, families have been forced to give up their loving companions because premiums skyrocket or companies vehemently refuse to cover certain races. When a dog is a well-mannered member of the household and community, there is no reason to deny or terminate coverage. In fact, insurance companies should treat a dog as an asset, a natural alarm system whose barking can deter intruders and prevent potential theft. “

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association, which represents 60% of the market, contradicted this.

“Every year there is an alarming number of malicious injuries and fatal attacks on humans by certain breeds of dogs,” the association wrote in its testimony. “Certain breeds can bite with an average force of 1,000 pounds per square inch, and some can even bite with twice that force – enough to seriously injure a child or adult in seconds. The often unprovoked and violent nature of such attacks supports the need for an insurer to include such information in its risk assessment. “

The specific breeds mentioned in the association’s statement were pit bulls, which are a family of dogs, including the American Pit Bull Terrier and the Doberman Pinscher.

Other proponents of the bill said it was heartbreaking to choose between a dog and a home based on insurance.

Another vote is still pending.

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