SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD)– The Illinois General Assembly passed HB 1049 on Thursday, preventing dog breed discrimination by insurance companies.
Spearheaded by Best Friends Animal Society and rep. Rita Mayfield, the text of the bill is that;
No insurer shall refuse to issue or renew, cancel, or charge or impose and increased premium or rate for a policy or contract, or exclude, limit, restrict or reduce coverage for a policy or contract based soley upon harboring or owning any dog of a specific breed or mix. It does not prohibit an insurer from refusing to issue or renew or from cancelling a policy or imposing an increased fee based upon the designation of an individual dog of any breed or mix as a dangerous or vicious dog under the Illinois Animal Control Act.
Prior to the legislation, a majority of Illinois insurance companies could dictate what breed or mix of dog they would insure regardless of behavior.
Studies have shown that breed does not dictate behavior.
In April of 2022, a new study published in Science by Kathleen Morrill, a dog geneticist at the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School, and her colleagues compared genetic and survey data of nearly 2000 dogs, including mixed-breeds and purebreds, with 128 breeds represented. They found that “dog breed is generally a poor predictor of individual behavior,” and most behaviors did not have a strong genetic component.