A law taking effect in March adds new restrictions to homeowners insurers’ ability to underwrite breeds of dogs residing in a home or apartment. The law, which builds on one that took effect a year ago, effectively requires insurers to provide liability coverage at full policy limits for most dogs regardless of breed.
The New York State Assembly approved the bill last March by a vote of 115 to 32, and the Senate followed in May by a vote of 49 to 13. Gov. Kathy Hochul signed it into law on December 15, 2022.
Previously, insurers were prohibited from:
- Refusing to issue or renew
- Cancelling, or
- Surcharging a rate or premium
based solely on the breed of a dog in the household.
The amended law, which applies to policies issued, renewed, modified, altered or amended on and after March 15, 2023, further prohibits insurers from:
- Restricting, or
- Reducing coverage
based on dog breed.
The law applies to homeowners and renters insurance policies. It also applies to commercial policies insuring one- to four-family dwellings if the named insured is an actual person and not an organization such as a limited liability company or a corporation.
Be aware that after March 14, your carriers will no longer be able to add exclusions or sub-limits to the liability coverage in any of these types of policies based solely on dog breeds.