SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A bill by state Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, protecting homeowners from discrimination at the hands of insurers on the basis of the breed of a pet dog, has become law after being signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
“Breed-based discrimination is wrong because the ideas it rests on have been thoroughly debunked and because it leads to Illinoisans who are not willing to part with a member of their family having difficulty in finding and securing affordable housing,” Mayfield said. “I stand with the vast majority of families with pets, who know that dogs are not possessions—they are full-fledged family members.”
Mayfield passed House Bill 1049, which immediately repeals a law that requires collection of certain data when a dog-related insurance claim happens and, beginning in six months, will prohibit insurers from denying coverage or raising rates solely based on the breed of a dog owned by a person seeking coverage for a home or rented unit. Insurers would remain able to alter or deny coverage in cases where an individual dog can be shown to be dangerous.
“When this bill was passed, I said that corporate bean counters should not be in charge of deciding whether families stay together, and I stand by that today,” Mayfield said. “Making housing more expensive and harder to find doesn’t help anyone—not those looking for shelter and not those looking to provide it. When the reasons for doing so are based on prejudice rather than on facts, it’s even more unjustified. This law is a victory for everyone in society, and I’m proud to have played a role in getting it passed.”