Category: Vacant Land

Do You Need Vacant Land Insurance?

People own vacant land for a variety of reasons. Your property might be empty until you can get planning permission, or you might keep the land vacant for recreational purposes. If you believe that members of the public regularly spend time on your land, you should look into vacant land insurance. This can protect you in case someone gets hurt or their property gets damaged.

Lawsuits related to personal injury can be extremely expensive, especially if the victim can’t go to work or has to spend time in hospital due to the accident. Vacant land liability insurance can cover you for $1 million or more and therefore protect your financial future. Read on to find out whether you need to purchase a policy and what kinds of damage it covers.

Do You Need Vacant Land Insurance? 

Insurance for vacant land is designed to protect the owner from lawsuits. If someone gets injured or their property, they might sue you and ask for compensation. This can cost you a six or even seven-figure amount, particularly if their injuries are extensive and they need ongoing medical assistance as a result of the incident.

While property owners in most areas aren’t required to get insurance, it can be a good way of protecting yourself and your investment. When determining whether you need this kind of insurance, you should think about who might visit the land and what elements are on it. For example, if there is a body of water, or if the terrain is very uneven, the risk is higher.

What Is Considered Vacant Land?

When you think about the term “vacant land,” a plot that is not currently being used might come to mind. It could be a piece of land you’ve purchased and are hoping to develop in the future, which isn’t currently occupied. In this case, you might not expect anyone to spend time on your property.

However, that’s not the only space that is considered vacant land. The word can also describe plots that are in constant use, such as a field used for farming or a piece of land that includes a shared access road. You should always get insurance if you believe that people are likely to spend time on your land. This could be the case if the property is in a city or if it is a beautiful spot, such as a woodland or a forest, which members of the public are likely to visit.

What Does Insurance Cover? 

Every policy is different, and you should speak to your insurance agent to find out what kinds of risks are common in your area and what type of cover you should purchase. Most vacant land liability policies protect you when another person gets hurt on your property, so they pay for the medical bills related to the incident and the injured person’s lost wages during their recovery time.

In some cases, the victim will also claim that they need compensation for their pain and suffering. This may be covered. If the person passed away, the insurance company will pay their relatives, who are also entitled to make a claim. No matter how severe the accident, you should always get a lawyer involved. Most insurance policies will cover legal costs as well as compensation.

What Is Not Covered by Insurance? 

While any accidental injuries are covered, your insurance won’t pay out if you harmed someone on purpose. This is true even if the people who are on your land are trespassers. Similarly, anyone working on your property isn’t covered, so you’ll need to get a specific policy if you’re having work completed on the land. Finally, the insurance policy is unlikely to cover you, your spouse, and your dependents.

Frequently Asked Insurance Questions 

Now you understand what vacant land liability insurance is, you might have some additional questions. Anyone considering taking out a policy should speak to an insurance expert, who can help them evaluate their individual situation and compare various options. Since not every area is the same, the availability and cost of policies might vary significantly, and it can be hard to find a good deal in certain locations.

How Much Is Vacant Land Liability Insurance? 

Most policies that insure vacant land aren’t very expensive because the risk of property damage and personal injuries is often relatively low. Unless there are dangerous elements like bodies of water on the property, you might be able to get a policy that costs you around $15-30 per month. Even if you have a very large piece of land, it’s unlikely that insurance will cost you more than $100 per month.

In return for this fee, you get the reassurance that you won’t have to pay should something happen. Many policies offer cover for $1-2 million, which should be plenty even if the accident is severe or the person passes away. If you’re not sure how much insurance to get, you should speak to an agent, who can analyze your situation and help you choose the most suitable policy.

What Determines the Cost of My Policy? 

Various factors affect the cost of vacant land insurance. Remember, insurance companies are looking to make a profit and minimize their risk, so they will charge you more if they believe that an accident is likely. You might have to pay a higher fee if your land is large and there are natural structures that could endanger people. Most insurers will also ask you to pay more if the land is located in a populated area, where many people might have access to it.

It’s important to consider that you won’t be able to get vacant land liability insurance on any land that still has structures on it. In this case, you’ll have to get a different kind of insurance for your property, most likely home insurance, which is more expensive. This is true even if the buildings are ruined and not currently in use.  

Do I Need Insurance If I Expect Trespassers? 

While you are always responsible for people who visit your property legally, those who are trespassing are technically not your responsibility because they are acting against the law. Therefore, you might not need to get insurance if the piece of land is not accessible to the public and you have also made it clear that entering the land is trespassing. Unfortunately, there are some exceptions that could affect your rights and responsibilities.

For instance, you might be held responsible if you know that people regularly cross your land to get to a destination, such as a bus stop or a school. In such a case, you’re not allowed to put people in danger, even if you’ve put up “no trespassing” signs. You might be able to put up barriers and even involve law enforcement to get people to stop accessing your land, but you can’t allow anyone to be put in a dangerous situation.  

How Can I Find the Best Policy in My Area?

Finding a good liability insurance policy can be a challenge because there are various providers that offer slightly different types of cover. The best way to find suitable insurance is to speak to an agency like ISU Armac. Using the most up-to-date software, we can quickly compile various quotes, so you don’t risk missing out on a policy that could be right for you.

What’s more, our experienced staff can help you consider factors such as your risk level and the kinds of risks you’re likely to encounter. Together with your agent, you can determine which policy best suits your needs and then access it at a low price. Since there are often introductory offers, you might pay less than average in your first year.

How Can I Minimize the Cost of Insurance? 

There are several ways to reduce the total cost of vacant land liability insurance. While this type of policy isn’t usually expensive, it can be costly if your piece of land is large or if it’s considered risky. To lower the chance of a problem, you should put up “no trespassing” signs and, if necessary, fence off your property, so it becomes more difficult for people to access your land. Additionally, you can anticipate potential issues and remove the source of the problem.

For example, holes in the ground should be filled in, since they can easily cause accidents. The less risky your property is, the less you will have to pay the insurance company. Another great way of reducing your insurance cost is to check in with your agent once a year to see whether you can switch to a cheaper policy. The insurance market changes constantly, so you should always keep a lookout for better options.

Just because a property doesn’t currently have any structures on it doesn’t mean you can skip insurance. Vacant land insurance is designed to protect you from lawsuits related to personal injuries and property damage. If you know that other people access your land on a regular basis, you shouldn’t delay getting in touch with an experienced insurance agency. Contact us now at ISU Armac to find out how you can find the best policy.

What Does Commercial General Liability Insurance Cover?

Because we live in a litigious society, small and medium-sized businesses have to protect their finances. If you or your employees work with customers, operate out of physical locations, advertise, or rent space to others, you should take out commercial general liability insurance. This can protect you if things go wrong and someone gets injured or their property gets damaged while they are interacting with you.

CGL insurance is extremely important for companies because it can cover the costs of a lawsuit, including the legal fees and any compensation your firm has to pay the claimant. Since some lawsuits result in a six or seven-figure fine, your insurance policy protects you from an event that could be detrimental to your firm’s finances. Let’s have a closer look at what is covered by CGL insurance and whether you should take out a policy.

What Does Commercial General Liability Insurance Cover? 

Almost every business transaction poses some level of risk. For example, a contractor could damage a part of the customer’s property, fall and injure a passer-by, or accidentally cause a fire in the customer’s house. Similarly, people visiting your in-person location might slip and fall because there was water on the floor and you or your employees failed to put up a warning sign.

If the customer decides to file a lawsuit and ask for compensation, you might have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sometimes being sued can ruin a business’s finances as well as its reputation. To prevent such problems, most company owners take out CGI insurance, which covers them in case they inadvertently harm one of their customers.

Bodily Injury

The most common issue faced by business owners is bodily injury. This occurs when a member of the public gets injured while doing business with you. The risk is highest if you have a physical business location since people could fall down because of a slippery surface, items left on the floor, or loose carpeting. What’s more, customers could get hit by an object that falls off a shelf or they might cut themselves on sharp surfaces.

But not only businesses with a shop or office are at risk. If you or your employees visit people in their own homes, you should also take out CGL insurance to prevent bodily injury claims because you could inadvertently hurt someone while working at the customer’s property. For example, a contractor’s ladder could fall and hit someone standing on the street below.

Product Liability

Anyone who manufactures and sells a product is at risk of a lawsuit. No matter how well you test the item before putting it on the market, there is a small chance that something goes wrong and a customer gets injured while using it. Alternatively, customers might argue that your product damaged their property. For this reason, you should always make sure your CGL insurance includes product liability.

Tenant Liability

While some small businesses own their building, many rent an office or shop space from another company. This is a good way of saving money upfront since you won’t have to purchase property before starting your business. But renting also comes with a certain amount of risk. If you damage the building while occupying it, you’ll have to pay the landlord.

Fortunately, most CGL insurance policies include tenant liability. This type of coverage protects you if you, your employees, or your customers damage the structure of the building or the fixtures and fittings.

Advertising Injury 

Many people who take out CGL insurance have a physical business location or interact with customers. But even if your business operates virtually and you don’t have regular contact with members of the public, you should consider carefully whether you are at risk. For instance, companies that advertise need to take out insurance because they could be sued for libel or slander.

Do I Need General Liability Insurance?

As you can see, most small or medium-sized businesses should purchase commercial general liability insurance. This includes people who perform their job at customers’ homes and everyone who welcomes members of the public in a physical location. Some firms that should take out a policy are shops of all kinds, construction businesses, law firms, doctor’s offices, and private educational institutions.

If you run a business that doesn’t involve meeting people face-to-face, for example, an online consultancy or shop, you should still consider taking out insurance. This is especially true if you rent office space or you advertise your services on a regular basis.

How Much Do I Need? 

The majority of businesses never have an issue with general liability. But if a customer files a lawsuit, you might have to pay them a six or seven-figure compensation. So, how much insurance should you take out? The answer is that it depends on your business’s financial situation and the risk level. Most small businesses choose a policy that covers them for $1 million per occurrence, but if you work in a dangerous industry, you might need more.

How Can I Find the Best Policy?

Often, it’s hard to choose between the various options, especially if you’ve never had to purchase insurance for a business before. To help you decide how much insurance you need and which policy is the best, you should contact an experienced insurance specialist. They can examine your business’s current situation and then let you know what your options are.

You can use the contact form on our website to get in touch with us at ISU Armac. When reaching out, remember that we can help you faster if you provide a lot of information. In your initial email, tell us what kind of business you run, how large it is, how and where you interact with customers, and what types of insurance you already have. Then, we can get back to you with some quotes and help you figure out which CGL insurance policy is right for you.

What Other Types of Insurance Might I Need? 

To fully protect your business, you’ll need several types of insurance. While commercial general liability insurance covers you if someone gets injured or their property gets damaged, it won’t help you if you face a lawsuit from your employees or your vehicle or property gets damaged.

Below, we’ll have a look at some of the other kinds of policies you might need. However, you should always speak to a professional before making a decision. Every business is different, and you may be overlooking something important such as cyber liability insurance or business interruption insurance.

Employment Practices Coverage 

All current and prospective employees have to be treated with dignity and respect. Employers aren’t allowed to discriminate due to race, gender, nationality, or disability. If a worker believes that they have been discriminated against or that you have wrongfully terminated their employment, they can file a lawsuit against you. Employment practices coverage can protect you against this and cover any legal fees associated with this type of claim.

Auto Insurance 

Many companies have one or more cars, and depending on their value, it can pay off to have them insured. For example, if you or your employees need your vehicle to get to your customers’ homes, drive clients to the airport, or make deliveries, your business can’t operate without a vehicle.

Thus, it can be worth protecting this asset. It’s important to remember that auto insurance can cover multiple types of vehicles such as cargo vans, delivery trucks, regular cars, and food trucks under the same policy.

Commercial Property Insurance 

Many businesses own assets such as property, furniture, machinery used in manufacturing, and electronics. If there is damage such as a fire, flood, or vandalism, the company might not be able to operate until repairs are complete or the equipment is replaced. To get your business up and running again as soon as possible and to prevent large financial losses, you should protect your assets with commercial property insurance.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance 

Even though most employers take care to protect their workers from harm, there are around 20,000 workplace injuries in the US every day. If one of your employees gets injured while performing their job, they might ask for compensation, especially if they require medical treatment, have to take time off work, or are suffering from a permanent disability due to the accident.

To protect your business’s interests and to make sure your employees can be compensated for any injuries, you should take out workers’ compensation insurance. Your insurance expert can let you know what your state’s requirements are and what level of coverage is best.

Almost every small or medium-sized business needs to take out commercial general liability insurance. Your policy can protect you in case someone gets injured or their property gets damaged while you are doing business with them. Because compensation for bodily harm can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s important for the future of your business that you take this precaution.

If you’ve never purchased insurance before, it can be hard to know which policy is suitable for you. Speaking with an experienced insurance specialist can be the easiest way of determining what kind of coverage you need and which company’s CGL insurance is most suitable for your business. Get in touch with us now at ISU Armac Insurance Services to discuss your situation with one of our experts.

How Do I Get California Home Insurance in High Fire Risk Areas?

Coverage for an accidental fire is one thing, but what if you happen to own a home in a geographical area that is at higher risk of wildfire than other parts of the country? Is coverage for wildfire damage part of your insurance policy? Understandably, many people who live in California and other western states are very concerned with fire risk home insurance since wildfires are worsening due to the impact of climate change. The good news is that it’s easier than you think to have coverage for your home in case of wildfire damage.

How Do I Get California Home Insurance in High Fire Risk Areas?

Many homeowners are surprised to learn that coverage for fire damage, including damages caused by wildfires, is typically part of a standard homeowner’s insurance policy. That’s right – instead of searching for a specific policy to add to your existing insurance, your first step should be going over your current policy and inquiring about the coverage that already exists. The chances are high that your current policy already covers all fire damage.

Of course, if you need to find affordable home insurance for your homeowner’s insurance policy, then you may need to do some additional legwork. If you don’t have insurance yet, then your goal will be to find an affordable policy for your area that will offer a well-rounded policy plan that includes fire damage coverage. Some tips to find a good plan include:

Verify Company Covers Your Area

The first thing you will need to do to find affordable home insurance for your property is to narrow your search by insurance companies that cover your area. Typically, it’s a good idea to try for a local insurance company or at least a company that primarily serves your state, as the policy plans will be tailored to the needs of homeowners in your area.

If you can’t find a local insurance company that you like, you may want to branch out to national insurance companies. But be aware that smaller insurance companies typically have better rates, which might be better for your bottom line. It’s also worth noting that you may have additional steps to take if your homeowner’s insurance policy is tied into your monthly mortgage payments; in that case, you may be better off tailoring your existing policy.

Get and Compare Multiple Quotes

The best way to find an affordable plan is to gather multiple quotes and compare what your estimated monthly payments will be. In general, homeowner’s insurance policies in California are a bit pricier than insurance in other states, simply because California is a more expensive state to live in. The average homeowner pays about $1,200 annually for home insurance in California.

Of course, several factors will influence how much your home insurance policy will cost. For example, the lot size of your property, the value of your home, and even the age of your home are all factors. The most influential factors are the amount of land you own for your property and the overall value of your home since these are the base values that your insurance policy will need to cover in case of catastrophe.

Find Policy Plan That Meets Your Needs

The final tip to keep in mind is to find a policy plan that meets your specific needs. In some areas of the country, coverage for flood damage is not included in a homeowner’s insurance policy, even if the home is in a high flood-risk area. That said, most homeowners insurance policies cover all types of fire damage, including accidental damage and wildfire damage.

But you may want additional coverage, such as for earthquakes, which is also a common risk for California homeowners. In fact, the California Earthquake Authority estimates that only 10% of California homeowners have earthquake insurance despite California having a very high risk of earthquake damage. Homeowners in the Bay Area, in particular, may want to look for policies that also offer this type of coverage.

Is Fire Risk Home Insurance More Expensive in California?

Although the average monthly cost for home insurance in California is around $100, if your area has a higher risk of wildfires, then your premium may reflect this. Compared to other states, there is a steeper price for a homeowners policy in California, particularly the portion of the insurance policy dedicated to fire insurance premiums.

The reason why fire insurance premiums are steadily rising is that wildfires are becoming more common, more damaging, and harder to fight off. Naturally, because home insurance companies will need to cover that damage, the collective price for your policy rises to reflect the amount of damage your home may incur after a wildfire. The more likely your home is damaged by fire, the higher your premium will be. The same can be said for drivers who have repeated accidents.

Do All California Homeowners Need Fire Risk Home Insurance?

The cost of fire insurance included in your homeowner’s insurance policy varies greatly in different areas of California. For example, the central valley in California has the lowest risk for wildfires, so insurance policies tend to be cheaper in these areas. Areas of California that see wildfires more often, such as the dense forests in NorCal, will generally have a higher premium since wildfire risk is much greater.

That said, it’s rapidly becoming clear that larger and larger swathes of California are at elevated risk of wildfires, so even areas that do not seem likely to have a fire could be affected in the future. Such is the case for areas like Paradise, which faced extensive loss with homeowners who were underprepared for potential fire damage. In any case, it’s important to double-check that your fire damage policy explicitly states that it covers wildfires, as well as fire damage.

What Will Fire Insurance Cover?

Now that you know what fire risk home insurance may cost in the long run, it’s time to get down to the brass tacks of what this type of policy will cover. In general, fire insurance will cover any type of property damages caused by fire, as well as other financial losses associated with a fire. For example, repairing your home, replacing damaged property, and paying for hotel fees while your home is being fixed can all be covered by fire insurance.

However, just like any other insurance policy, there are some things that your policy may not cover – so if you fall under certain circumstances, you will need to talk to your insurance company about extending coverage. For example, if you have detached structures on your property, such as a garage or a shed, these structures will not usually be covered automatically by your fire insurance policy. Always ensure that every part of your property is covered by your insurance policy.

How Does the Claim Process Work?

If your home has been damaged by a wildfire, then you will first need to file a claim with your insurance company. The claim process can be started on the phone, online, or in person. The sooner you start the claims process, the sooner you can benefit from your insurance coverage, such as using your policy for temporary housing.

After you file your initial claim, evidence of your claim will be collected. This will include photos to document property damage, a claims adjuster assessing the damage in person, and the insurance company reviewing the evidence to make an estimate for your claim. Overall, this process can take several days or weeks. If you aren’t satisfied with the estimate your insurance company offers, you should contact your claims adjuster or insurance agent directly for negotiations or an explanation of the estimate.

Can You Purchase Additional Fire Insurance?

Yes. If you aren’t satisfied with the basic coverage that is bundled into your homeowner’s insurance, you can always purchase extra fire insurance coverage for additional detached structures, or even extend the type of fire damage your policy will cover. While accidental fires, electrical fires, and wildfires may be covered, your insurance plan may not cover specific types of fires, such as gas explosions.

It’s also important to understand the details of when your fire insurance policy is active. For example, your insurance will not cover damages to a home that has been vacant for more than 30 days in a row when the fire happened. If you want coverage for property that isn’t being continually lived in, such as a vacation home, then you will need additional fire insurance.

For California homeowners, it’s abundantly clear that wildfires are placing more homes at risk every year – and that means that homeowners need to be prepared with fire risk home insurance policies to cover any damage associated with wildfires. The good thing is that coverage for wildfire damage is likely already part of your homeowner’s insurance policy, so you may only need to double-check your policy. For more information about fire risk home insurance in California, please contact ARMAC Insurance Services in Victorville, CA today.