• A.R.S. § 20-1510 takes effect on June 30, 2023.


    A.R.S. § 20-1510


  • The law applies to new and renewing transactions.  The session law in the bill makes clear that the new law applies to both new and renewing policies of insurance:

    Sec. 3. Applicability. This act applies to new policies of insurance and renewed policies of insurance issued from and after June 30, 2023.

    Furthermore, A.R.S. § 20-1510(A) refers to actions associated with a “policy of insurance” which includes new and renewal actions.  Therefore, an insurer may not decline to write, non-renew, cancel, or price new or renewing policies based solely on the possession of a certain breed of dog on or after that date. 

  • A3: If rules or policy documents, including applications, reference “breed” they must be consistent with the definition of breed in A.R.S. § 20-1510. 

    While not directly applicable to insurer transactions, the newly added definitions in A.R.S. § 11-1025 may be helpful.  Although, because these definitions do not appear in Title 20, policy forms may have definitions for “Aggressive”, “Vicious”, or “Provocation” that differ from those in A.R.S. § 11-1025.

  • The law defines “Policy of Insurance” as “a homeowner's or renter's policy of insurance.”  Thus, it will apply to all types of HO policies: HO1, HO2, HO3, HO4 (renters), HO5, HO6 (condo), HO7 (manufactured home), and HO8.  A policy of insurance does not include commercial, excess, or umbrella policies. 

  • A.R.S. § 20-1510 states that “the breed of a dog may not be the sole factor considered or used for … [u]nderwriting or actuarial processes for determining risk, liability or actual or potential losses related to claims involving dogs under a policy of insurance.”  Insurers may not use the breed of a dog to make an underwriting decision about what coverage will or will not be included in the policy.  In addition, an insurer’s base rates and/or rating factors may not be developed based on whether the policy includes or excludes coverage for particular breeds of dogs.  However, an insurer may exclude coverage for liabilities arising from possession of any dog, or for reasons not associated with the breed of the dog, such as a history of viciousness or aggression.

  • The “policy of insurance” is the entire policy.  Any riders or endorsements to the policy would not be considered separately from the liability coverage under the base policy. 

  • Yes, insurers will need to make clear statements in their rules, including underwriting manuals, that demonstrate the company will not decline, non-renew, cancel, surcharge, or increase premiums based solely on the breed of dog.

  • An insurer may impose underwriting criteria related to the possession of any dog, but not based on a specific breed of a dog.  An insurer may impose underwriting criteria unrelated to the breed of the dog. For example, it will insure homes with a dog greater than 40 pounds only if they have a 6-foot fence. 

  • Only if the dog breed is not the sole factor determining a rating or underwriting decision, and as long as the elimination of the non-related factors does not result in the dog breed being the sole remaining underwriting factor.

  • Yes, a HO policy exclude “Animal Liability” in its entirety for all animals.

  • Insurers may ask about dog breeds on applications, but A.R.S. § 20-1510 precludes the breed of dog from being the “sole factor considered or used for … [q]uestionnaires, surveys or other means of gathering information regarding ownership or possession of a dog or the presence of a dog on the premises insured or to be insured under a policy of insurance.”  Underwriting guidelines must clearly demonstrate that the insurer will not decline, cancel, non-renew, or raise rates based solely on a particular breed of dog.

  • Yes, the definition of “breed” in A.R.S. § 20-1510 is “the actual or perceived breed or mixture of breeds of a dog.” 

  • Yes, a policy exclude a specific dog with a history of biting or aggression, similar to an excluded driver on an auto policy?

  • If a company currently has rating and underwriting factors that result in surcharges, non-renewals, declinations, etc. solely because of dog breeds, the Department would expect to receive a filing revising rates and supplementary rate information (e.g., underwriting guidelines/manuals).  Similarly, if your policy or application forms reference dog breed in a manner that is not consistent with the new law, the Department would expect a form filing.

  • Yes, as long as the rating applies to the mere possession of any/all dogs in the household and does not discriminate by breed whatsoever.  

  • Yes,  insurers may ask other dog-related questions on the application, but unrelated to the breed of dog, such as bite history, age of dog, number of dogs.

  • Yes, as long as the insurer can demonstrate the adverse action was not based solely on the breed of the dog and the insurer is in compliance with the applicable cancellation and nonrenewal provisions in A.R.S. §§ 20-1652 through 20-1656.

  • Yes, as long as the insurer is not declining only for specific breeds of dog, but for the possession of any dog.

  • Yes, as long as the insurer is not reducing coverage only for specific breeds of dog, but for the possession of any dog.

  • Yes, umbrella coverage does not meet the definition of “policy of insurance” in A.R.S. § 20-1510