Landowners, have you changed your mind about hosting wind turbines?
It has come to Haldimand Wind Concern’s (HWC) attention that there is activity in the business of insurance and landowners who sign up to host wind turbines.
In a letter to an existing client from their insurance broker, it was made clear “…that should a wind turbine be erected on the property, (the company) would not insure same and they would no longer remain on risk at that property, and your policy would therefore be cancelled.”
In the April 24, 2012 letter, the company went on to explain why the policy would be terminated, “…once the units are erected, you, the owner of the property lose some control on people coming onto the property for repairs or maintenance, along with some injury risk the units could cause, leaving yourself and the company open to potential liability losses.”
Click here to view a copy of the letter.
HWC has anecdotally heard that other insurance companies are also reviewing their policy in regards to liability insurance and landowners who host wind turbines.
Now, let’s go back in time a few years.
It was 2007 or 2008. Cash crop prices were down significantly and had been for some time. Fuel, fertilizer and farm equipment prices were steadily increasing.
For some farmers, things were getting financially desperate. Then wind turbine company representatives started to knock on landowners’ doors.
Good money was being offered per wind turbine lease in Haldimand County and you did not have to do anything to get it.
Who would really miss that little bit of land they would need? Did you hesitate before you signed up?
You may have heard these sayings: “Your neighbours, Bill, Joe and Frank all signed up”; “You’ll be helping to reduce greenhouse gases”; “You’ll be doing your part to help future generations”; “Think of your grandchildren.”
Sound familiar? Since then, you may have learned a lot about wind turbines, and also what your friends, family and neighbours think about your decision to host wind turbines. What you may have thought was a good deed has turned into a controversy. Well, you are not alone.
There are many landowners in Ontario who have changed their minds about hosting wind turbines.
Some appear to have successfully extricated themselves out of a lease(s). Others are still trying to get out of their lease.
The contract is a legal document. Should you wish to explore the possibility of getting out of a lease, it seems advisable to contact a lawyer.
If you need a referral to a lawyer who has expertise in this area, please contact Haldimand Wind Concerns.
Ernie King, South Cayuga vice president of Haldimand Wind Concerns
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