You’re finally ready to build a coop and go get some chickens for your backyard. You’re already envisioning all the eggs and the cute little chicks running around everywhere.
Before you head to the store, there are a few things you need to know to protect yourself and your home.
Chickens as Pets
If your chickens will be raised and treated as pets, even if they lay eggs for you, your homeowners insurance should still cover you. The important part of the policy for your chickens is the liability coverage. This will protect you if your chickens cause injury to someone who’s visiting your home or if they cause property damage to a third-party.
No homeowners policy covers damage that pets do to your own personal property. So if the chickens damage something in your yard or on the exterior of your home, that will be your responsibility. It’s no different than having a cat or dog.
Before you count on your insurance to cover you, though, it’s worth a conversation with your independent insurance agent. Chickens would likely be classified as “unconventional pets” and your policy may have limitations for these kinds of animals.
Chickens as Business
Even if you intend for your chickens to be pets, some people decide to branch out into a side hustle of selling eggs — especially once they discover how many eggs a few chickens can produce.
Once you do this, your homeowners insurance will no longer cover your chickens at all because homeowners’ policies don’t cover business activities. Selling eggs and making money makes you a business.
You’ll need to purchase business policy to cover any damage your chickens cause to others as well as coverage for your chickens, in case anything happens to them and disrupts your business income.
Check Local Ordinances First
Before you buy your chickens and build their coop, check your local ordinances (city or county) on whether they allow chickens at all. In North Carolina, most areas do allow them, but many have a permitting requirement. Here in Charlotte you can have chickens in your backyard, but you’ve got to get a permit first. To get a permit, you have to follow certain requirements.
While some people skip this step, it’s not a good idea. If you need to file an insurance claim for property damage or injury to someone else, not having the proper permits could cause problems. It’s your responsibility as the homeowner and the owner of the chickens that you take every precaution to protect your home and others. Getting proper permits is part of that responsibility.
Before you bring chickens home, contact us here at Charlotte Insurance. We’ll help you understand what your current home insurance covers and help you find a policy so you and your chickens are protected.