WAUKEGAN, Ill. – Aiming to address an issue that often disproportionately impacts people and families of color, state Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, has passed a bill which would prevent insurance companies from refusing to insure a person, or from charging higher rates or imposing different terms of coverage, based only on the breed of a dog that person owns.
“Breed based restrictions are a shortcut that insurers use to save money at the expense of the people they are supposed to be putting first,” Mayfield said. “These restrictions are not justified by the facts, and too often tend to burden communities of color more heavily than others. That’s wrong. And that’s why we’re putting a stop to it.”
Mayfield’s House Bill 1049 would ban insurers from using the breed or mixture of breeds of a pet-owner’s dog as the basis for refusing to issue or renew coverage, canceling coverage, charging higher premiums for coverage, or otherwise excluding, limiting, restricting, or reducing levels of coverage. However, insurers would still be allowed to do the above based on whether a specific dog, regardless of breed, is dangerous. Mayfield’s bill provides that a specific dog would be legally considered ‘dangerous’ based on already-existing standards contained in the Animal Control Act.
“When companies cut corners rather than doing the work to ensure their policies are fair and equitable, we have a duty to step in and level the playing field,” Mayfield said. “Nobody should be denied access to a basic necessity like housing because of prejudice, which is precisely what breed restrictions are based on. It’s time to hold insurers to a higher standard.”
Mayfield’s office is reachable at 847-599-2800 or email@example.com.
519-A Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
120 S Genesee St.
Waukegan, IL 60085
(847) 599-2955 FAX