Insurance companies must comply with Nevada dog discrimination law – The Nevada Independent

Recently, the state of Nevada enacted a law that prohibits insurance companies from using a dog’s breed as the sole reason for denying homeowner’s insurance. Specifically, the bill prohibits insurers from refusing to issue, canceling, refusing to renew or increasing the cost or premium of certain insurance policies on the basis of the breed or breeds of mixed dogs. Before this law was enacted, if you adopted a dog or found a dog of another breed, your homeowner’s insurance could summarily foreclose on you. Obviously, very old-fashioned thinking.

Fortunately with the leadership of the Parliament and Gov. At Sisolak, we made incredible strides in moving forward and eliminating these outdated policies, finally allowing dog owners to rest easy. Or at least we think we do…

Unfortunately, months after this bill was passed and signed into law, we are still seeing insurance companies rejecting homeowners because of their pets. One of our employees at Best Friends called a number of homeowner insurance companies, but he was refused to study because of his dogs, one of them is a licensed medicine dog who used to visit children’s hospitals.

Fortunately, with the knowledge we have as an organization, they were able to go back to the companies and ask them to look back on their policy which was not working legally. But this is unknown to many across the country, allowing insurance companies to deny coverage illegally. And while this may not seem like a big deal, for many who have beloved family pets this can be the difference between keeping their family together or separating them to keep a roof over their heads.

The decision would be a tragic one, resulting in many lives being placed in low-income animal shelters and placing a burden on taxpayers. And although we thought that making it illegal to prevent this, it seems that it is not enough. It’s time to stand up to the insurance companies and ask them to take the time to understand Nevada law and stop putting families at risk because of their ignorance.

Breeding principles are based solely on the dog’s appearance and not its behavior. Has the dog ever bit anyone? Have there been complaints about the dog? Is the dog considered dangerous or vicious? These are all questions that involve reasonable concerns from a dog as a person, and how they should be judged by insurance companies.

We as a society have been taught that you can’t judge a book by its cover, and dogs are no different. We’re seeing states across the country focusing on social issues in trying to keep families together, keeping dogs in their homes – here in Nevada, we need insurance companies to follow the laws that are in place.

Ledy VanKavage is Best Friends’ senior legal attorney and chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s animal law section. Prior to Best Friends, Ledy was the ASPCA’s director of legal affairs and legal education. He is also a past chairman of the American Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee.

Insurance companies must follow Nevada’s dog breed regulations

Recently, the state of Nevada enacted a law that prohibits insurance companies from using a dog’s breed as the sole reason for denying homeowner’s insurance. Specifically, the bill prohibits insurers from refusing to issue, canceling, refusing to renew or increasing the cost or premium of certain insurance policies on the basis of the breed or breeds of mixed dogs. Before this law was enacted, if you adopted a dog or found a dog of another breed, your homeowner’s insurance could summarily foreclose on you. Obviously, very old-fashioned thinking.

Fortunately with the leadership of the Parliament and Gov. Sisolak, we made incredible strides in moving forward and eliminating these old policies, finally allowing dog owners to rest easy. Or at least we think we do…

Unfortunately, months after this bill was passed and signed into law, we are still seeing insurance companies rejecting homeowners because of their pets. One of our employees at Best Friends called a number of homeowner insurance companies, but he was refused to study because of his dogs, one of them is a licensed medicine dog who used to visit children’s hospitals.

Fortunately, with the knowledge we have as an organization, they were able to go back to the companies and ask them to look back on their policy which was not working legally. But this is unknown to many across the country, allowing insurance companies to deny coverage illegally. And while this may not seem like a big deal, for many who have beloved family pets this can be the difference between keeping their family together or separating them to keep a roof over their heads.

The decision would be a tragic one, resulting in many lives being placed in low-income animal shelters and placing a burden on taxpayers. And although we thought that making it illegal to prevent this, it seems that it is not enough. It’s time to stand up to the insurance companies and ask them to take the time to understand Nevada law and stop putting families at risk because of their ignorance.

Breeding principles are based solely on the dog’s appearance and not its behavior. Has the dog ever bit anyone? Have there been complaints about the dog? Is the dog considered dangerous or vicious? These are all questions that involve reasonable concerns from a dog as a person, and how they should be judged by insurance companies.

We as a society have been taught that you can’t judge a book by its cover, and dogs are no different. We’re seeing states across the country focusing on social issues in trying to keep families together, keeping dogs in their homes – here in Nevada, we need insurance companies to follow the laws that are in place.

Ledy VanKavage is Best Friends’ senior legal attorney and chair of the Illinois State Bar Association’s animal law section. Prior to Best Friends, Ledy was the ASPCA’s director of legal affairs and legal education. He is also a past chairman of the American Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee.