holmes 050423SPRINGFIELD – Right now, families with specific dog breeds sometimes face home or renter insurance discrimination solely because their breed is perceived to be dangerous, resulting in cancelation or stiff premiums for their policies. Longtime animal welfare defender State Senator Linda Holmes wants to prohibit that insurance practice, and her House Bill 1049 to amend insurance code to this effect has passed in the Senate.

"Families should not be punished for owning a specific dog breed, and insurance discrimination only perpetuates harmful stereotypes,” said Holmes (D-Aurora). “This measure will help ensure that all dog owners are treated fairly in the insurance market.”

Currently, insurance companies have discretion to refuse, remove or modify coverage based on the breed of a pet owner’s dog. This amends the Insurance Code to prohibit an insurer from refusing to issue or impose an increased premium or rate, or restrict or reduce coverage based solely upon harboring or owning any dog of a specific breed or mixture of breeds.

An insurer may cancel, refuse or renew a policy or impose a reasonably increased premium based on if an individual dog is a dangerous or vicious dog, as determined by actual loss experience with that individual dog.

House Bill 1049 passed the Senate on Thursday.