Maine: Take a Stand Against Discrimination and Support L.D. 1192
I live in Maine and right now we have the chance to put an end to insurance discrimination based on a dog’s breed or breed mix. Will you help?
I’m asking all of my Maine dog-loving friends to take a moment to reach out and voice your support for this bill. If you own a pit bull, Doberman, German Shepherd, Rottie, Mastiff, Great Dane, Chow, Akita, or any other dog that’s been denied coverage, now’s your chance to stand up for the fair treatment of your dogs.
If you do not own a dog that’s been targeted, I hope that you will stand up for our families. We’re your friends and neighbors and we’re being unfairly discriminated against. Stand up for the dogs that are in our shelter system simply because their families couldn’t find an insurance company that would treat them fairly. There are so many dogs in our shelters that are safe, loved family dogs, but are homeless because families are forced to surrender them due to housing discrimination (largely due to insurance discrimination). Stand up for every dog that has been unfairly discriminated against because of the way they look, NOT based on their actual behavior or the behavior of their owners.
I’ve written about insurance discrimination before. It’s a serious issue for many responsible, dog-owning families.
Maine has the opportunity to become on the most fair, progressive states in the country when it comes to animals – help us get there!
Please support L.D. 1192- An Act Prohibiting Property Insurance Discrimination Based on Breed of Dog
This bill prohibits the refusal to issue or the cancellation or nonrenewal of a property insurance policy or an increase in the premium for the policy solely on the basis of a policyholder’s ownership of a certain breed of dog. The restrictions do not apply if a dog has been designated as a dangerous dog in accordance with state law.
Please support this bill by attending the public hearing on Thursday, April 25, 2013 1:00 PM, Cross Building, Room 220
If you cannot attend – please submit written testimony to the committee members:
Mailing Address: Committee on Insurance and Financial Services
c/o Legislative Information
100 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
Here’s what I wrote to each committee member (copy it, if you’d like!):
I’m writing to ask that you support L.D. 1192 in order to prevent insurance companies from discriminating against dog owners. Insurance discrimination creates undue hardship on responsible dog owners, such as myself, and on our animal shelter system which must bear the burden of caring for dogs that are safe, loved, and wanted by their families, but cannot remain in their homes due to discriminatory insurance practices.
Research proves that dog behavior cannot accurately be predicted based on breed alone. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) exhaustive review of dog bite studies conducted in North America and elsewhere has concluded that separate regulation of “pit bull” dogs [or other breeds labeled “dangerous”] is not a basis for dog bite prevention. “Serious bites occur due to a range of factors,” conclude these authors.
Please tell insurance companies that making sweeping restrictions and cancellations based only on a dog’s breed – rather than assessing an individual dog’s risk factor – is not a welcome business practice in the great state of Maine. Every dog must be evaluated for coverage based on their individual behavior and their owner’s behavior.
Please pass LD 1192 and support the fair treatment of all Maine families.
Thank you for your time,