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Old 01-28-04, 12:22 PM   #16 (permalink)
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In Quebec it is a problem as well... Most companies will not insure you if you have just one reptile! Those who do, charge you more for it... Robbers!

I was told by a couple of people that if I have many herps I most likely have to turn to a animal shop type insurance. I haven't done that much research on the subject but plan on doing so in the near future and will relay my findings here.

I do know that if you "lie" about your reptiles to the insurance company, not only can they not cover you in a related incident but they can refuse to cover you for anything else. They figure if you've lied about that, then other things as well and it'll most likely cost you a lawyer to clear up the mess...

Pixie

P.S. Apparently "Belair" or "Bélair Direct" that insures in Quebec and Ontario DO insure reptile owners.
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Old 01-28-04, 12:42 PM   #17 (permalink)
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just wondering if you do everything upfront and are straight about your herps will they pay to replace them if something happens?
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Old 01-28-04, 12:46 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Derrick: If they did agree to insure you, then yes but I would think only if you were using them for breeding purposes... as I can't see them replacing a pet. Although nowadays they have PET insurance too, so couldn't people just get that for the herps? would be good anyway, it would cover the vet bills too...
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Old 01-28-04, 01:07 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Heh, there appears to be an untapped market for a small, enterprising insurance company to step up and take advantage of
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Old 01-28-04, 04:01 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Seriously Cruciform, I had my dad speak to his broker and his brolker called all the companies he works with and NOT ONE will insure a reptile owner. and I mean ANY reptile, Crested gecko included (I mention this because they are one of the few that are NOT a fire hazard).
The insurance comapny can be liable if the reptile escapes, and " gets down a toilet, into the water system, or freaks out a neighbour. Also, insurance adjusters will NOT even ENTER a home with reptiles as it is a saftey precaution"

So, I will be calling Belair to ask a few questions and see what they say. once I have called a few people, I will let you know what I found. unfortunately it iwll most likely only be good for us Montrealers... I'll keep you all posted on my findings...

and if the findings are bad, who would like to finance my new Repti-surance Home Insurance company?
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Old 01-28-04, 04:24 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Ok, well we called Bel Air, and they said that If you were ALREADY insured with them then MAYBE they would insure your herps, but if you are new, then forget it. Reptiles are too much of a liability. so I guess, we are all S.O.L on home insurance...
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Old 01-28-04, 04:28 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I have never had a problem having home insurance. I have always mentioned what I have. I did run into problems with my Pitbull though. I am now insures with TD canada trust. Most home insurances will only cover about 2000$ for pets. Since this was not satisfactory for me, I have just purchased insurances just for my herps. I had to go to a specialized insurnace company.
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Old 01-28-04, 04:33 PM   #23 (permalink)
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cuora-ca: where exactly? I really would like this information as I will need toget home insurance shortly. Can you please PM me the info or post it here? then we can all benefit from your knowledge??
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Old 01-28-04, 05:08 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I am also interested in knowing what your additional coverage for your herps entails.

If you would be so kind as to post the company's name and what the coverage include, it would be greatly appreciated.



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Old 01-28-04, 07:21 PM   #25 (permalink)
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FlexWatt makes me nervous for that exact reason. If I burned down half the house from a bad wiring job I could see the insurance company shrugging and tearing up my policy.
Anyone know if there is or will be a CSA version of this stuff anytime in the future...? I would be alot more at ease if there was...
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Old 01-28-04, 07:52 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I don't think my snakes made a difference on my policy when I told them they were smaller then garter snakes they said ok don't worry about it (first they had to call some one higher up to make sure that the snakes weren't an issue).

Things that insurance companies like to hear about - locking cages, locking herp room, escape proof room.
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Old 01-28-04, 08:57 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Flexwatt is covered....

So are your animals. My policy is for contents and covers pets up to $20k. You must declare them. There's more to this then meets the eye though so think hard. Flexwatt is covered via commonalities between Canada and the US. The common misconception is that it is not approved for use in Canada but the identical heat tape marketed under the brand name Flexall in the UK is totally approved in Canada. Any lawyer worth his/her weight in salt could argue this one to any judge in the land and win. Both products (as long as you wire them correctly) almost never cause fires. If they do any FD will determine cause. If it's you too bad, your loss (and ALL colateral damage). If its something else no problem, your covered.

Straight from by insurance agent. Insurance companies are NOT fools. They must list every restriction, exception and caviot in which they do not wish to cover. In fine print you should notice local by-laws. There is ALOT of information in the contract, and to tell you the truth... only a lawyer or someone familar with certain things can completly understand it. Be careful. There are other things as well.

Hope this helps,

Dave

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Old 01-28-04, 09:09 PM   #28 (permalink)
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We tried Belair when we moved (spring 2002) and found that they would not insure us due to the reptiles.

We are currently with TD Meloche Monnex and, yes, they know all about them. They even sent an inspector over to check the place out, partly because of the reptiles and partly due to the unusual nature of the property. We almost lost coverage last year because of our planned future business activities- the inspector said that we were doing presently doing things (being open to the public) that we weren't planning for some time. It was quite a fight to keep the coverage. They do not insure anything to do with our existing business activities (outreach programs), nor do they cover the animals themselves (as pets).

Some things insurance companies have told me they don't like about reptile owners:

-increased fire risk
-increased humidity levels causing water damage and mold (this one's big right now!)
-escape risk and subsequent liability

Anything we can do to reduce the above risks and claims that would result from them will help in the long term.

As for Flexwatt, much as I like it, it will never be CSA approved because you have to wire it yourself. If it arrived in standard lengths with cords already attached then it could be approved, but then that defeats one of the best features about it- flexibility.

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Old 02-02-04, 10:26 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I just received this response from Stevenson and Hunt:

"Hi Mike.. I certainly have never heard of this enquiry before!!! However, I have contacted Pilot Insurance and spoke with an underwriter there. The underwriter advised that at this time they do not have any exclusions in their policies pertaining to reptiles and snakes that would hinder your ability to obtain insurance. The insurance company would be interested though in the length of a python for instance if you were to obtain one. "


When I asked her it wasn't specifically about insuring the actual snakes, but whether raising them would cause insurance issues down the road. Sounds good so far.

One thing though, anyone who is raising them and has wired their own flexwatt, and assorted electrical setups, if a fire were to happen and an inspector came through you'd probably be screwed.
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Old 02-02-04, 12:28 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Good to hear about Pilot, Cruciform- keep us posted. You're right about other wiring being an issue besides Flexwatt- according to law, all electrical wiring in Ontario now requires a permit and an inspection, regardless of whether it is done by an electrician or homeowner. This theoretically applies whether it is Flexwatt, a custom cage with lights in it, or if you wire the whole room. Not many people actually get the permits, and it isn't particularly enforced, but it could be a problem with an insurance company IF your faulty wiring was the cause of the fire.

Dave- our insurance excludes the animals themselves because they are considered to be part of the business. This could also be considered the case for anyone who is a breeder and has a name, website, business cards, etc. Most policies only cover certain kinds of home-based business and even then only aspects of their property/possessions. At least with TD Meloche Monnex, any business involving animals is not covered.

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