Whether you have recently purchased your dream property. Are a longtime landowner that enjoys sharing access with your friends and family. Or you have likely learned that owning land comes with a handful of additional costs. Some of these expenses can be significant. Like property taxes, land management, and/or general upkeep. The good news is that not all expenses will keep you from enjoying your property. Arguably the most important of all just might be the most affordable. So is the cost of vacant land insurance worth it?
Can I afford Vacant Land Insurance?
Vacant land insurance is very affordable, starting at just $225 for up to 750 acres. With properties over 750 acres are covered for a mere .30 an acre. Coverage can be purchased through a reputable organization like the American Hunting Lease Association online. Or over the phone in just a few minutes. Your coverage begins the next day. Don’t be fooled by their name. The AHLA has provided access tools and resources to tens of thousands of landowners. Although hunting leases were the focus of the AHLA’s early mission. The group has broadened its focus to include landowners and outdoor enthusiasts. Who is looking to enjoy private land access for any number of reasons?
Any coverage you purchase should always include a custom liability waiver for you to use, guidance on avoiding claims by improving safety on your property, and even “No Trespassing” signs if needed.
Do I REALLY Need It?
Vacant land liability insurance is an imperative piece of the puzzle to keep you and your assets shielded. Making sure you do not pay the ultimate price of losing your land. Although it sounds unlikely, when one of your guests is injured while hiking or hunting on your ground and cannot provide for their family, they may have no alternative but to sue you for damages. Even if you win the case and no judgment is made against you, the cost of defending yourself in court can be devastating.
Vacant land (also referred to as recreational land or timberland) coverage with the AHLA also protects you from claims made by trespassers. Laws addressing landowner rights regarding trespassing differ from state to state. However, there are scenarios where a trespasser may have some safety expectations in every state. For instance, owning land where small children may live nearby and not be able to read “No Trespassing” signs or understand the meaning of “trespassing.” Landowners in this situation would be well advised to ensure hazards were removed or well-marked and to protect themselves with a vacant land liability policy.
So, who then is covered by a vacant land insurance policy? Simply put, all invited and uninvited guests (who have not paid for access) are covered. Guests might include co-workers or employees attending a picnic, neighbors who are mushroom hunting with your permission, family members hiking, or even trespassers stealing access and using your property without your permission.
Lastly, if you are hiring a contractor to work on your behalf. The initial site visit for a quote or survey will cover you as well. However, once you hire the contractor. Also, it is strongly advised that you ask to be added to their policy as an additional insured. As well as ensure that you are covered (at no charge) by their policy and as a result for any damages to you or a third party as a result of the contractor’s actions.