H. B. 4432
(By Delegates Reynolds, Ferns, R. Phillips, Skaff, Stowers, Hunt, Pasdon, Barill, D. Campbell, Moye and L. Phillips)
[Introduced February 6, 2012; referred to the
Committee on Banking and Insurance then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §33-17A-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to prohibiting declination or termination of property insurance based solely upon a home owner’s possession of a certain breed of dog; and providing exception.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §33-17A-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 17A. PROPERTY INSURANCE DECLINATION, TERMINATION AND DISCLOSURE.
§33-17A-6. Discriminatory terminations and declinations prohibited.
No An insurer may not decline to issue or terminate a policy of insurance subject to this article if the declination or termination is:
(a) Based upon the race, religion, nationality, ethnic group, age, sex or marital status of the applicant or named insured;
(b) Based solely upon the lawful occupation or profession of the applicant or named insured, unless the decision is for a business purpose that is not a mere pretext for unfair discrimination: Provided, That this provision does not apply to any insurer, agent or broker that limits its market to one lawful occupation or profession or to several related lawful occupations or professions;
(c) Based upon the age or location of the residence of the applicant or named insured unless the decision is for a business purpose that is not a mere pretext for unfair discrimination or unless the age or location materially affects the risk;
(d) Based upon the fact that another insurer previously declined to insure the applicant or terminated an existing policy in which the applicant was the named insured;
(e) Based upon the fact that the applicant or named insured previously obtained insurance coverage through a residual market insurance mechanism;
(f) Based upon the fact that the applicant has not previously been insured;
(g) Based upon the fact that the applicant did not have insurance coverage for a period of time prior to the application; or
(h) Based solely upon an adverse credit report or adverse credit scoring; or
(i) Based upon the sole fact that the applicant has a certain breed of dog: Provided, That this provision does not apply to any applicant who owns a dog that has a history of bitting people.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to prohibit declination or termination of property insurance based solely upon an applicant’s or home owner’s possession of a certain breed of dog. The bill provides an exception if the dog has a history of bitting people.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.