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Nevada takes a big step forward for dogs with new law

By Kelli Harmon

Insurance is a necessary part of life. Heaven forbid the unthinkable happens, and you don’t have sufficient coverage. For far too long, though, insurance companies have made it difficult for people who have certain breeds of dogs. It can be more expensive or even impossible to get homeowners insurance from some companies simply because of your dog’s breed.

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There’s a long list of reasons to put the kibosh on this narrow-minded thinking. For one thing, it has been proven time and time again that breed doesn’t factor into whether dogs pose a safety risk to the community. In addition, even the experts aren’t good at determining a dog’s breed or breed mix by sight. In the end, all that these restrictive policies do is make it more difficult to get insurance, for irrelevant reasons.

A big win for homeowners and dogs

That won’t be the case anymore in Nevada. SB 103, a bill supported by Best Friends, recently passed the Nevada legislature and was signed by Governor Steve Sisolak. The new law, which goes into effect in January 2022, prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage, or charging more, based on the breed or breed mix of the dogs people have.

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This is the most expansive law in the nation protecting pet owners from breed discrimination by property insurance companies. It’s a step in the right direction, and inspiration to work toward passing similar laws in other states.

As Ledy VanKavage, Best Friends senior legislative attorney, says, “The focus should be on the behavior of the dog and the behavior of the owner.” So, chalk up one more win for dogs and the people who love them.

This article originally appeared in Best Friends magazine. You can subscribe to the magazine by becoming a Best Friends member.

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