July 28, 2016 - 1:00 PM
KAMLOOPS - Homeowners with urban chickens in Kamloops will want to let their insurance broker know the have hens roosting at home, according to the Insurance Brokers Association of B.C.
City council amended a bylaw earlier this year so lots as small as 370 square meters are now allowed to have between two and five hens. The amendment came into effect June 21.
Kamloops director Crystal Petrie says while she doesn't think insurance companies will charge extra, “they want to be aware of what they’re insuring.”
Urban hen owners will want to make sure they’re covered for a variety of chicken related issues. One of the most important is liability associated with eggs. If a hen owner gives an egg to a friend or neighbour who ends up sick, the hen owner could face a lawsuit.
“Whether you’re liable or not doesn’t really matter, what matters is if someone is going to sue you for that,” Petrie says. “You’ll still have legal fees even if someone is not successful.”
There are other issues that could lead to law suits insurance companies want to be aware of, like the value of a chicken coop or destructive hens.
“If they were to get out and destroy neighbours property, that could be something you’re liable for,” she says. “It’s the same if your dog bites someone.”
While costs are unlikely to rise, it’s important for the hen owner to make sure their insurance covers their chickens. Petrie says insurance companies also like to know what risks they’re insuring.
"They want to be aware of what they’re insuring and what the exposures are,” she says. “Everything is based on risk and the amount of risk, that’s how insurance companies operate.”
Find past stories on urban agriculture here.
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