PAWS Chicago News item | PAWS Chicago

Dog Breed Insurance Legislation

Apr 04, 2023

An effort is underway to prevent insurance refusal based on dog breeds

A legislative effort to prevent insurance companies from prohibiting or limiting coverage based on dog breeds is moving through the Illinois General Assembly, but has not been passed by both chambers yet.

Illinois House Bill 1049 prohibits insurance companies from refusing to issue renter’s or homeowner’s insurance coverage based on ownership of certain breeds of dogs, or breed mixes. Companies would no longer be allowed to increase rates, cancel or change terms of your insurance policy if you took in or owned a dog of a certain breed.

No longer would insurers be allowed to, for example, cancel your renter’s insurance if you decide to adopt a Rotweiller puppy. Instead a company could cancel or amend an insurance policy if an individual dog is deemed a dangerous or vicious dog under the Illinois Animal Control Act.

A dog’s behavior is dictated by its breed only 9 percent of the time, according to a 2022 study in Science Magazine. No breed of dog is inherently mean, dangerous or vicious.

The Bill passed the Illinois state House of Representatives by an 81-31 vote on March 23, and is now with the state Senate for consideration. We urge you to contact your legislators to voice your support for this bill and to ask for final passage of the bill. You can find your state representative and senator here.