New Illinois law ends insurance restrictions on certain dog breeds



(The Center Square) – A new law in Illinois will prevent homeowner’s and renter’s insurance companies from rejecting policies or charging more money for specific breeds of dogs.

Currently, insurance companies have discretion to refuse, remove or modify coverage based on the breed of a pet-owner’s dog.

“For years, harmful stereotypes of certain dog breeds have allowed insurers to punish families for owning a specific dog breed, resulting in cancellation or stiff premiums for their policies,” said state Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora. “This measure will help ensure that all dog owners are treated fairly in the insurance market.”

Holmes said housing and insurance are the number one reason pet dogs end up in animal shelters and this bill should stop that.

State Sen. Win Stoller, R-Germantown Hills, said placing a mandate on insurance companies could drive up prices.

“We bring into it consequences, and in this case, just as insurance companies rate based on factors, such as male/female, occupation, weight, driving habits, type of car you drive, whether you skydive, they do that so they can offer the lowest possible rates,” said Stoller.

The law allows insurance companies to cancel a policy if the individual dog is deemed dangerous or vicious under the state’s Animal Control Act.

Florida recently passed similar legislation by making changes to the state’s “Dangerous Dogs Law.”

After being signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker earlier this month, the law goes into effect in Illinois in January.

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