If other states follow Maryland’s lead, it may eventually be illegal for insurance companies to deny issuing homeowners or renters insurance policies to individuals because they own a dog that is a certain size or type. Insurers may also have to extend the liability coverage included in their contracts to include incidents that involve an individual’s dog regardless of the animal’s breed or size, meaning insurers will not be able to exclude instances involving contact with an insured’s dog from the liability protection their homeowners and renters policies provide.
Introduced February 8th, 2013, by Maryland delegates, Kramer and Simmons, HB 1203 attempts to end the practice certain insurers have involving discriminating against the people who own dogs who are a particular size or breed. The following is taken directly from HB 1203:
“(R) WITH RESPECT TO HOMEOWNER’S INSURANCE OR RENTER’S INSURANCE, AN INSURER MAY NOT:
(1) REFUSE TO UNDERWRITE A RISK BASED SOLELY ON THE SPECIFIC BREED OR SIZE OF A DOG OWNED BY AN APPLICANT OR INSURED; OR
(2) EXCLUDE COVERAGE UNDER A POLICY OF HOMEOWNER’S 1 INSURANCE OR RENTER’S INSURANCE FOR A SPECIFIC BREED OR SIZE OF A DOG OWNED BY AN APPLICANT OR INSURED.
SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall apply to all policies of homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance issued, delivered, or renewed in the State on or after October 1, 2013.
SECTION 3. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall take effect October 1, 2013”