Avoiding Liability claims on vacant land might seem like a no-brainer to some. I mean, it is an empty piece of land with nothing on it, right?
Unfortunately, that is not the case. Multiple situations can arise and accidents can occur on your vacant land that could lead to an expensive liability claim. A claim like this could possibly cost you tens of thousands of dollars in damages and/or medical bills. But fear not. You can take steps as a landowner to mitigate your chances of having a lawsuit filed against you.
If you are curious about the price of Vacant Land Insurance, check out this blog.
Steps to Prevent Liability Claims
One of the easiest and most effective things you can do to limit your risk is taking the appropriate steps to prevent vandalism and trespassing. Preventing trespassers is more than just putting up a “no trespassing sign” at the front of your property, although that DOES help. In order to really keep your property safe, you need to do more.
If you injure a trespasser while engaged in an activity like target practice, you could be held responsible.
Make sure that your property appears to be well maintained. Doing things cutting pastures, installing timers on lights, or clearly marking your border helps give the impression it is owned and maintained regularly. Having land that looks like no one has been on it in years might seem like an open invite to trespassers. It also helps to know your neighbors. It also helps to have a second set of eyes that you trust looking over your land.
An obvious tactic to limiting liability claims is to simply make sure your property is free from significant hazards. Hazards like
- Unmarked wells/cisterns
- Large dead trees
- Washed out ditches
- Old, unsafe tree stands
Really anything that could cause injury to a person on the property should be removed or well marked. If a police officer, maintenance worker, or conservation officer has to access your land for any reason, that becomes a possible liability risk.
Constantly check your property for possible fire hazards and have them addressed as soon as possible to prevent any damage. Remember, strong winds and storms can weaken trees and break limbs. Regular inspections for these types of hazards will keep your guests safe and allow you to enjoy land ownership.
Get Vacant Land Insurance.
While is it helpful to take precautions to mitigate the risk of accidents on your land, it is also important to make sure you have legal backup. Some homeowner’s insurance allows you to extend it to cover your vacant land. Just make sure that your land fits the definition of vacant land before you proceed.
If your homeowner’s insurance does NOT cover vacant land, an independent vacant land policy from a reputable company is needed.
See what land insurance you need here.
What does vacant land insurance not cover?
When attempting to lower the chances of liability claims against you, it is also important to keep in mind the things that your policy would NOT cover. It does not financially protect you against any kind of injuries that could be deemed “purposely inflicted,” as well as several other things.
- It would not protect you if an employee suffered injuries while working for you.
- Does not cover you, your spouse, or any of your dependents from injury.
- Commercial use of land like leasing access to others.
- Land used for ranching or timber operations.
When it comes to saving you time, money, and headache with your land. A solid vacant land liability policy is the best form of protection. Outside of that, taking the steps shown to you in this blog post is a great way to prevent mishaps on your land that can cost you big.
When picking your vacant land policy, make sure that you use a reputable company that has a proven track record. The last thing you would want is to work with a company that doesn’t understand or care about the land the way you do.
The American Hunting Lease Association fits that criteria. With years of experience, best-in-class prices, and exclusive features, it is clear why so many hunters and landowners work with us. If you have any questions or would like a free quote on your vacant land, just follow this link!