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Gov. Hochul Signs Gianaris Bill That Prevents Insurance Companies From Hiking Premiums Based On Dog Breeds

The new law prohibits insurance providers from increasing rates or denying insurance coverage based on the breed of dog a policyholder keeps (Duncan Sanchez, Unsplash)

Nov. 1, 2021 By Christian Murray

People who own pit bulls, Rottweilers and other dogs deemed aggressive have often struggled to buy homeowners’ insurance or have faced higher premiums.

That is about to change. A bill, sponsored by State Sen. Mike Gianaris, was signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul last week, which bans insurance companies from denying coverage—or hiking insurance premiums—based on the breed of dog owned by the policyholder.

Gianaris, who represents western Queens, says that many insurance companies have failed to provide homeowners’ insurance to people who keep certain types of dogs—or raise their premiums— based on the claim that some breeds are dangerous and bite.

The lawmaker said that there is no statistical connection between dog breeds and bite incidents, citing a white paper that states that dogs such as Great Danes are no more dangerous than corgis and chihuahuas.

He says that higher premiums add to the cost of home ownership, often forcing canine lovers to forgo owning or keeping such dogs.

“People should never be forced to choose between an affordable place to live and the pets who are members of their families,” Gianaris said.

Hochul also signed another pet-friendly bill last week that had been sponsored by Gianaris. The legislation mandates veterinarians to report suspected cases of animal abuse.

“Violence against animals is often predictive of violence against people, particularly domestic violence,” said Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal, the assembly sponsor of the vet reporting legislation who represents the Upper West Side of Manhattan. “It is vital that we do everything we can to root out both.”

Gianaris said that the new laws aim to ensure that animals are treated with dignity.

“Our four-legged friends are valued companions who are parts of our families and deserve to be respected,” Gianaris said. “We have more work to do but these are important steps forward in the cause of animal rights.”

Gianaris’ legislation to stop retail pet stores from selling dogs and cats, however, has yet to become law. His bill passed the senate in May but was not put up for a full vote in the Assembly this legislative year.

The bill was first introduced in 2018. It passed the senate for the first time in 2020 and passed again in 2021. It has failed to get passage in the Assembly.

A Goldendoodle bought at a puppy mill in Brooklyn (Photo: Queens Post)

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12 Comments

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Arec Barrin

Pitbulls aren’t pets. They’re weapons.

When was the last time you read a story about a toddler being mauled to death by a shih-tzu?

Anyway, the insurance companies will simply raise the rates of people who don’t own dogs that were specifically bred for aggression and fighting.

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Truth

I think you’ve been reading too much corporate media… pitbulls are the best pets because they listen to their owner. Bad parent’s make bad kids so too bad owners make bad dog’s

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Nature of the beast

Baloney. Lions and tigers also listen to their trainers (usually) but it doesn’t change the fact that they are inherently dangerous and extremely powerful animals capable of killing and maiming people and may do so at any time. It’s their natural instinct.

This nonsense about good owners means nothing since anyone can own a pitbull including drug dealers, dog fight promoters and other idiots. How is anyone to know if the person walking down the street with a pitbull is one of the good or bad owners? You can’t.

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lets go brandon

pit bulls are killers, damn straight.

every pit bull owner after mauling a baby or gramps to death:
“she was so sweet and then she just snapped!”

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People who try to over throw our legally elected government are traitors

Let’s go Brandon is a treasonous cry.

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