Advocacy: 2018 is the Year to End Breed-Specific Discrimination by MA Insurance Companies
Have you or anyone you know been denied homeowner's insurance because you have the "wrong" breed of dog? This affects people with Labrador Retrievers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Huskies, Pit-Bull-Terrier-like dogs and many other breeds (including mixed-breed dogs). It must stop. Not only does it affect current dog owners, it makes it more difficult to adopt these dogs out of shelters and rescues, leading to overcrowding and euthanasia. Having the freedom to pursue happiness with a dog of any breed should not put one's home in jeopardy.
Currently, insurance companies operating in MA can discriminate by breed. But now there is a chance to change the law so that all breeds are equal in the eyes of insurers. There are bills in the MA Legislature introduced by Senator Gobi (S 533) and Representative Lewis (H 554) but they will not become law without participation from constituents (that's us!). The bills are supported by the Humane Society of the United States , MSPCA Animal Action Team, Animal Rescue League of Boston, ASPCA, and Best Friends Animal Society.
S 533 / H 554: "An Act concerning the use of certain insurance underwriting guidelines pertaining to dogs harbored upon the insured property. This bill would prohibit Massachusetts homeowners insurance companies from discriminating or charging higher premiums for coverage based on breeds of dog..." (Read more about the bills here).
What breeds are affected?
The following breeds are on one or more "restricted" lists for ten of the top MA insurers:
Akita - Alaskan Malamute - American Bull Dog - American Pit Bull Terrier - American Staffordshire Terrier - Beauceron - Bull Mastiff - Cane Corso - Caucasian Ovcharka (Mountain Dog) - Chow Chow - Dalmatian - Doberman Pinscher - Eskimo Spitz - German Shepherd - Giant Schnauzer - Golden Retriever - Great Dane - Husky - Korean Jindo - Pit Bull - Portuguese Fila - Presa Canario - Rhodesian Ridgeback - Rottweiler - Saint Bernard - Shiba Inu - Staffordshire Bull Terrier - Thai Ridgeback - Wolf or Wolf Hybrid...
"or any dog containing or resembling any of these breeds".
Ways To Get Involved:
UPDATE: The hearing before the Financial Services Committee happened on Oct 17th, 2017. In early February the committee determines whether or not they will send it to the floor for a vote.
NOW IS THE TIME! 4 WAYS TO HELP BELOW:
1) Call your legislators. Request a meeting (or at least a return phone call).
Voice your support for this bill. Tell them you feelings, your thoughts and your experiences. Bring pictures. Make it personal.
Find your legislator's contact info here
2) Tell your story
Use the form on this page to share your experiences. Best Friends Animal Society will deliver your story to your legislators.
3) Add your name
Add your name to support to these bills and sign up to receive alerts from the Best Friends advocacy page.
4) Spread the word
Copy and paste to your social media accounts:
Let people know (especially other dog owners!) that this discrimination exists and that we have a chance to do something about it.
Together we can end this unfair practice and level the playing feel for all MA homeowners and their pets.
Thank you for your support!
"Can my daddy have insurance? Please?"