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.