Insurance Brokers Association: Ignoring Smart Meter problems increases liability

Medicine Hat News
City could be liable for smart meter fires
By Gillian Slade
July 29, 2014.

The City of Medicine Hat could be held responsible if a smart meter results in a fire and should therefore be diligent about the associated risks, says the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta.

The City has to take a hard, hard look at this. They now know that there are problems and if they continue to install them they are increasing their liability,” said Gord Cowan, president of the Insurance Brokers Association of Alberta. “If there is a meter installed that does fail, and the house burns down, the city’s insurers are going to have to pay for that. I would venture to say the City’s insurers are taking a pretty hard look at this.”

Saskatchewan halted installation of its Sensus smart meters after eight of the devices malfunctioned causing the meters to melt or catch fire.

Coun. Bill Cocks, who chairs the City’s Energy Committee, is not concerned at this stage about liability based on the information he’s been given to date.

“Not based on what I have been told to date,” said Cocks. “I’m assured by my department, the people that I rely on, that our equipment is state-of-the-art and that we haven’t had these problems. As I understand it they have to be properly installed and we have not had any such issues here. It is something I think we need to be aware of but we have had no problems here at all.”

In Medicine Hat, 29,000 meters have already been installed, and the project is almost complete.

Note: Medicine Hat Electric Utility is installing the same Sensus Smart Meters than SaskPower has been ordered to remove.

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