Insurance on your coop? Flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by loralei, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. loralei

    loralei Chillin' With My Peeps

    287
    0
    119
    Jun 4, 2009
    New Caney, Texas
    I was curious if anyone insures their coop and/or their flock. We currently have a flock of 23 and have 20 chicks enroute. Our first batch of chicks was to provide us and family/friends with fresh eggs, but due to the addictive nature of the feathered darlings [​IMG] and a talk with our accountant we decided to sell eggs. It turns out we can write off the cost of the coop (whew!!!) and chicken related expenses (feed, meds, feeders, chicken-sitters, etc.) and after filing the appropriate paperwork with the county can claim an ag exemption which will give us a break on our property taxes.

    We have made a substantial investment in our coop. What if it were to burn down (due to my poor electrical wiring skills or a lightning strike) or it were to be damaged during a hurricane? And although chickens themselves are inexpensive when you start thinking of them as producers/income the loss of several birds adds up so it only seems right to protect our investment.

    Your thoughts?

    **Mods/Admins - I will appreciate you moving this post if I have listed it under the wrong topic.
     
  2. bywaterdog

    bywaterdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    250
    4
    121
    Dec 29, 2008
    N.O.L.A.
    Just renewed my insurance, the coop is listed as an outbuilding , covered for $15,000. This was an afterthought but "what the heck" I lost the last coop [and 12 girls] to hurricane Katrina.
    The girls survived the storm, but were donated for food to my neighbors, hurtful to me, but very helpful for them.
     
  3. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    Automatically covered under our homeowner's insurance. Not an issue. Check your insurer as it appears you have a 'commercial' usage going on. I have no idea but a phone call tells you all.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    86
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    As you are doing this commercially (albeit on a tiny scale) I would suggest either being verrrrry tightmouthed not-rock-the-boat don't-ask-about-insurance, or verrrrry upfront and proactive. Depending on your personal philosophies of life. Reason being, homeowners insurance can sometimes be "funny" about things like that. By no means always. But, it is something to be aware of.

    As chickens are quite inexpensive, it does not make sense to me to pay an insurance company to insure them. I would "self insure" instead, i.e. just make sure you'll be able to afford to replace them IF there should be a large loss.

    As far as the coop, if it is considered a permanent building then it is quite possibly already umbrella-ed in under your existing homeowners policy but you could check it out to be sure. I would suggest referring to it as a "shed" unless you are going to inform your insurance carrier that you are selling eggs and see how they feel about that (in which case quite obviously you could call it a coop [​IMG]).

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. Momo

    Momo Chillin' With My Peeps

    373
    16
    151
    Mar 16, 2008
    Nelson BC
    Okay, I'll weigh in here since I'm an insurance adjuster. With a typical homeowners policy, a coop would be considered an outbuilding and therefore automatically covered under your policy. However, there's a standard exclusion for buildings used in whole or in part for business or farming purposes (this is because a homeowners policy is not rated for commercial exposures). If you're selling enough eggs to rate farm status, your coop would likely fall within this exclusion (this would generally not be the case for those folks who sell some eggs and offset some of their costs but make no profit).

    Most insurers are very accomodating for small hobby farms and a call to your insurance broker would probably get you a hobby farm rider on your insurance. That way everything would be straight and your coop would be covered along with the rest of your buildings. The extra premium is small and well worth the piece of mind. Trust me, the time you *don't* want to find out your insurance isn't adequate for your needs is after you've already suffered a loss.

    As far as mortality insurance on the chickens themselves goes, I agree they aren't worth the trouble and expense of insuring them unless you have a really large scale operation.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by