Vacant Land Insurance – Do I need it?
If you own a home, then you are aware of the financial burden that is homeowners insurance. It protects the buildings and any personal belongings that are on your property. Additionally, this might make you believe that if there are NO structures on the property, you won’t need insurance.
Well, that’s not really how it works.
Regardless of the size of the property, there are inherent risks that come with owning vacant land. Risks that if you are not protected from could turn serious quickly. Knowing that a company has your back when it comes to vacant land accidents can often be the peace of mind that landowners need. Accidents happen, even on land with nothing on it.
Confusion on how some land is described or identified by mortgage lenders and/or insurance companies is understandable. Even they don’t fully agree with what terms best describe land with no improvements or residents living on it. Leaving many people with the question of what is vacant land?
A quick Google search provides at least 5 different vacant land meanings. Which further proves that the answer to a relatively simple question can be a little complicated. Let’s see if we can clear it up for you.
Vacant Land or Lot?
The initial confusion comes from the words land or lot.
Millions of Americans purchase vacant lots every year. Most buy their lots to build a home, barn, or garage on. While others may purchase a slightly larger piece of land to build a business or even a large factory upon. A vacant lot is typically less than one acre and is obviously free of any buildings or general improvements. To be clear, the words land and/or lot are 100% synonymous in this instance. Regardless of the size of the tract, either can be considered vacant.
Vacant land is relatively similar to a vacant lot, but the larger a tract of land is, the more likely some improvements, structures, or personal property. Even older barns, sheds, and boat docks (by definition) can relegate your property out of the “vacant land” category. If you find yourself in a situation where your mortgage lender requires you to provide liability coverage for your property and you have a dilapidated, older barn, you may have difficulty finding coverage.
What Is Vacant Land?
So, let’s define Vacant Land for you now (as it pertains to liability insurance). Any size tract of land with no structures like homes, barns, or boathouses is considered vacant. It is predominantly an empty piece of land.
. . . but what if there is an old barn in the woods that is uninhabitable and not used for any purpose?
The American Hunting Lease Association (ahuntingleas.org) has created the only program we are aware of that permits these types of structures. While still providing liability coverage for their use. As long as no permanent residences or buildings are being used regularly. The AHLA program provides coverage. Even a seldom-used cabin or camper parked on the property is covered from liability claims on the AHLA policy. There is no requirement to allow hunting either; the AHLA simply provides coverage for landowners to protect themselves from claims made by their guests and even trespassers.
What Land insurance Do I need?
Chances are, if you searched for information or guidance on which type of insurance policy (hunting lease or vacant land) was best suited to protect you and your property, you have landed here. Good news! You have come to the right place to have all your questions answered. Moreover, you will leave armed with the knowledge and confidence to secure the appropriate coverage affordably and responsibly.
Getting Started In Owning Land with Land Insurance
Let’s begin with a simple congratulations. As a landowner, you are one of a very select group of Americans. Those who can lay claim to owning a piece of coveted ground. It is also likely that you worked hard. Saved your money and planned for this day, and the only thing left to do is sit back, relax and enjoy owning your own property.
A considerable part of enjoying your land is sharing it with others. Additionally, you may allow friends and family to hunt deer. Or co-workers to fish in a pond, or even you may have purchased land to lease access to a hunt club. As outdoorsmen and women, the American Hunting Lease Association is grateful that you allow any type of access and know that generous landowners like yourself are the key to preserving habitat.
However, allowing access to anyone for any reason comes with significant risk to you and your assets. Not to worry, those risks are easily and affordably addressed. The important part is to make sure you have the appropriate coverage.