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Introduced Version House Bill 2794 History

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hb2794 intr
H. B. 2794


          (By Delegates Reynolds, Stowers, Ferns, Sponaugle, Barrett, Phillips, R., Moye, Skaff, Guthrie,
Walker and Marcum)

          [Introduced March 1, 2013; 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 an 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 insurer may 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. However, 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.
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