Although owning vacant land doesn't come with the same level of risk as having developed property, undeveloped land isn't entirely risk-free. There are potential liabilities, such as injuries occurring on the property, that landowners should protect themselves against. Land insurance can have a pivotal role in helping Massachusetts landowners protect themselves from the risks that their properties present.
Land insurance is a specific property insurance for undeveloped land. Policies primarily provide liability protections, which are for situations where a landowner could be held financially liable.
Because insuring vacant land is different from insuring buildings, landowners should work closely with an insurance agent who specializes in land policies when evaluating options.
Most people and businesses who own undeveloped land in Massachusetts should consider vacant land insurance. Owning almost any type of raw land presents inherent liability risks.
Some properties (e.g. waterfront or properties with steep cliffs) have particularly notable risks, but an accident can occur on any type of property. Therefore, owners would generally be well advised to get insurance even if they just have a field or wooded plot.
Moreover, landowners generally need a Masaschsuetts-issued policy regardless of where their official residence is. When insuring land, the insurance policy usually must be underwritten in the state where the land is located.
While far from an exhaustive list, the following are a few examples of undeveloped land that are often insured:
These could be in rural, urban, suburban or waterfront locations.
Undeveloped properties usually aren't under a state legal obligation to be insured, but insurance is sometimes required if a property is financed. While lender-institute obligations are more common with developed properties, some lenders might have a similar stipulation for undeveloped properties.
Regardless of any requirements or lack thereof, insurance is generally advisable. A single horrible incident (or perhaps an opportunistic lawsuit) could have devastating consequences if no insurance coverage is in place.
Putting posted signs around the boundary of an undeveloped property might provide some legal recourse if an uninvited trespasser sues. These signs don't necessarily stop someone from filing a lawsuit that must be defended against, though, and mounting even an initial defense can be costly. Additionally, trespasser lawsuits aren't the only types of suits that landowners could face.
Vacant land insurance primarily provides coverage for undeveloped, raw land. As such, most policies won't cover any structures on the property, even small cabins or other buildings without power or water. These structures frequently necessitate different insurance since they alter the liability risks that a property presents.
An experienced insurance agent can assist in finding coverage for properties that have small structures.
Fishing and hunting activities introduce unique liability risks that need to be considered when purchasing a vacant land insurance policy. Potential risks could include ATV or snowmobile accidents, drowning hazards near water bodies, and injuries caused by firearms.
Some vacant land policies are designed to cover the risks that come with fishing and hunting. Other policies may exclude these activities from their coverage. Landowners can work with a knowledgeable agent to find a policy that provides coverage for these activities if the coverage is needed.
The premiums for vacant land policies can vary based on factors like location, size of the property, and its intended use. These policies are generally quite affordable, however, since most policies don't cover buildings.
For assistance with insuring undeveloped land in Massachusetts, contact the independent insurance agents at Garrity Insurance. Our agents will work with you to find a land insurance policy that'll protect your particular property well.