Animal Farm Foundation Launches Dogs, People, and Housing Insurance ProjectFri, 26 Mar 2021 10:24:20 CDT
Animal Farm Foundation announced the launch of The Dogs, People, and Housing Insurance Project to end exclusionary dog breed restrictions in the housing insurance industry. These restrictions are often used as a way to discriminate against individuals based on their class or race. This initiative reflects AFF’s unwavering commitment to challenge laws and policies that keep dogs and people apart.
“The insurance industry uses arbitrary dog breed lists as a way to discriminate against homeowners and renters and deny them coverage,” said Animal Farm Foundation’s Executive Director, Stacey Coleman. “People often find out too late about dog breed restrictions, leaving them with the stark, difficult choices: either go underinsured or uninsured, or end their relationship with their beloved pet. No one should ever have to make that choice, especially since targeting pet owners because of what their dog looks like has never been shown to produce the desired results, not in the insurance industry, or anywhere. The Dogs, People, and Housing Insurance Project crowdsources the power of dog owners affected by breed-restrictions to end a practice that often results in housing insecurity while traumatizing people and their pets for no proven benefit.
The project features a directory to help consumers contact their state insurance commissioner to file a complaint and inform the commissioners about the discrimation they face when trying to obtain insurance. Insurance commissioners exist to protect the rights of insurance consumers, including dog-owners-yet many people are unaware of this resource.
The project’s web site Dogspeopleandhousinginsurance.org features easy-to-access and customizable sample letters that insurance consumers can send to their commissioner as well as tips for filing a complaint form or how to call to share personal experiences. The site also includes information on how animal welfare workers can share their experiences with pet relinquishment due to insurance discrimation. It is a well-designed, user-friendly site that makes it much more manageable for people to understand their rights, tell their stories and file complaints. The goal is to end breed restrictions and increase access to housing for dog owners, as well as ensure that everyone can obtain and keep needed, and often required, insurance.
“By ending these exclusionary breed restrictions, we will chip away at the long-time practice of big insurance justifying reasons not to ensure the consumers they call “high risk” which is often just code for race or class discrimination. More people and pets can stay together in safe, secure, and adequately insured homes,” Coleman concluded.
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