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Breed Discrimination in NJ Would End Under Bill [AUDIO]

Just because you own a pit bull or a German shepherd in New Jersey doesn’t mean your insurance company should automatically be allowed to drop you from your homeowner’s policy.  That’s according to state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May Court House) who is sponsoring legislation that would prohibit breed discrimination by home insurance companies.

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Pit Bull mix
Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

“It’s not the animal, it’s the owner. Animals that become viscous are trained to be that way by their owners,” said Van Drew. “As with most things, it’s irresponsible people who are really the ones who are responsible when something happens.”

Under the legislation, insurers would not be allowed to refuse to issue, renew or cancel a homeowner’s insurance policy based solely on the breed of dog owned by that policyholder.

“Just because someone has a dog that is perceived as being dangerous does not mean that the person should have their policy canceled. It can be canceled if you have a problem, or if your dog had bitten someone,” Van Drew said.

However, the measure would allow home insurance companies to choose not to cover an animal, and it would allow the insurer to charge a person more if they have a particular breed.

But policies would not be allowed to be automatically canceled just because a person owns a particular breed of dog. “Most people who have these dogs are good people and the dogs are good dogs. At times, insurers will automatically cancel them and they can’t get insurance. So, they have the choice of either giving away the pet they have loved for years, putting the animal to sleep or not having homeowner’s insurance. That’s an unfair choice,” Van Drew said.






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