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Small Cabin Forum / Properties / Liability Insurance
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researcher
Member
# Posted: 1 Sep 2010 12:38
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Does anyone here hold a liability insurance policy for their land/cabin? From what I've found out so far most insurance companies won't cover vacant land or a small cabin and those that do charge upwards of $1500 per year (in NY). Does anyone here think it is necessary?

farfromhome
Member
# Posted: 2 Sep 2010 09:43
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My current homeowners policy extends out to my land. There was no charge from the insurance company for this and the liability is one million. The only exclusion is that I cannot rent the cabin out. They refused this type of coverage. If I did want to rent out the cabin there are insurance companies that are in this market. Coverage for the tractor is extra.

I do recommend insurance for landowners. Regardless of whether you have guests, there is public access or unauthorised access you can still get sued. eg. ATVers, skidoo owners, etc. Never put up a chain on your access road as this will just increase your liability, post no trespassing signs.

Smawgunner
Member
# Posted: 1 Mar 2017 17:48
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Digging up an old thread. His liability insurance worth it? My company wants $90 a month more and I have to put a railing on my porch before they'll cover me I'm not happy about. Just wonder if there any stories of people injuring themselves and suing the land owner. I'm on the fence.

DaveBell
Member
# Posted: 1 Mar 2017 18:39
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Quoting: farfromhome
Regardless of whether you have guests, there is public access or unauthorised access you can still get sued. eg. ATVers, skidoo owners, etc.


Just FYI, You don't need liability insurance for trespassers. No Trespassing signs are recommended to establish "mens rea".

Years ago, this guy rode his ATV on some land and got hurt and sued the company that owned the land. The court ruled that the land owner cannot be expected to warrant the safety of the property for trespassers since they are there without permission and cannot be advised of all possible risks.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 1 Mar 2017 19:11
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I just got it through these guys, under $200 a year.

http://woodlandowners.org/insurance/

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 1 Mar 2017 19:29
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Quoting: paulz
I just got it through these guys, under $200 a year.

http://woodlandowners.org/insurance/



I got the same, was $160 for my 40 acres.

This will protect you from lawsuits, will not cover injuries, ie hospital.
Family comes over, someone gets hurt, mom runs kid to hospital, their insurance covers it, then comes after landowner. They say "we don't want to sue them, they are family" and insurance company says "not your decision" and they will do anything to reduce their cost.

So having 40 acres is not much fun if you have no one to share it with. It will protect me and my property from lawyers.

I am a member of that organization also.

Smawgunner
Member
# Posted: 1 Mar 2017 20:34
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Wonder if they cover liability on a structure ...like if someone fell off the porch. Might just give them a call.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 1 Mar 2017 20:48
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I think you have to join to get the insurance, I did. And I tried to get someone on the phone to discuss the coverage, no luck. One brief declaration of coverage page was all I ever got. Sure hope I don't need it. Let us know if you find out more.

gsreimers
Member
# Posted: 1 Mar 2017 21:44
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my homeowners policy provided liability on the lot up north until I started building the cabin. It took a while to find a carrier since the property is not accessible to the fire department. (Island property). Along with the coverage came an inspection. I had to show the dimensions for clearance for the woodburner and found out I need more cables for my rail system to make it pass.

Kind of a pain, but I'm covered.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 13 Dec 2020 14:05
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Quoting: toyota_mdt_tech
This will protect you from lawsuits, will not cover injuries, ie hospital.
Family comes over, someone gets hurt, mom runs kid to hospital, their insurance covers it, then comes after landowner. They say "we don't want to sue them, they are family" and insurance company says "not your decision" and they will do anything to reduce their cost.


Hmm, that sounds confusing.

Anyway, pay tour annual bill yet? It's cheap enough, had it about 5 years now. Just wondering what I'm really getting, or what might happen. Mainly I guess if someone outside my family gets hurt, maybe even a trespasser who falls down the hill.

Houska
Member
# Posted: 13 Dec 2020 18:23
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Note this is heavily jurisdiction dependent. US is different from Canada, and within Canada varies by province (esp Quebec vs the rest).

In Ontario, generally speaking (but check to be sure, of course!), liability is extended to *completely vacant* land from your (main) homeowners' policy, but not once you build something. Anything. If you build anything, you need to get a separate policy from that, put on the minimum possible valuation (for fire, damage, theft) and it will come with a few million $ liability. We found that a local (rural) carrier can get such a policy with not many questions asked if you truly have a minimal structure with minimal value, but they'd want an inspection if it became more valuable.

WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 14 Dec 2020 08:09
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When I bought my land i called my insurance (State Farm) and they said my land falls under my $1MM umbrella I have that's in addition to my home and auto policies. So it didn't cost me anything. They said once i build i just need to call them and it sounds like then it will become a separate policy like my home.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 14 Dec 2020 08:35
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Willie, I asked my insurance company and they said the same deal, so time to get insurance, call them, they ask if I have a fire hydrant, nope, within a mile from a fire station, nope. Telephone, well, yes, cell when I am there. No power. I know you do have power.

So it was ultra spendy, way more than my home insurance, so I got the woodland policy. They have since allowed you to add ATV etc. Maybe even the structure? Not sure on structure.

I just needed to protect myself if someone got hurt on my property, invited or uninvited.

WILL1E
Moderator
# Posted: 14 Dec 2020 09:44
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So before we switched to State Farm a few years ago, we had Liberty Mutual. Back then we didn't have an umbrella coverage, but when we had our other (no structures) properties they just added the property to our home policy to protect us if someone got hurt. I don't think the premium changed at all. It sounded like State Farm would do the same but it was just easier paperwork wise to put it under the umbrella.

It's funny yours asked all those questions! I think mine just asked if there was structures...and now that i think about it, i don't even think they asked for an address or fire number

scott100
Member
# Posted: 18 Feb 2021 21:00
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I'll drag this thread out of the archives one more time as I just spent the better part of a week dealing with insurance issues.

Our cabin is spec'd as a "park model" rv, so you would think insurance would be easy. In fact, we already had a policy for it through Foremost. I ended up on the phone with Foremost recently due to a wild goose chase USAA sent me on (they insure my house and cars), and I was working on an umbrella policy through them. Anyhow, come to find that my policy didn't really cover the cabin properly as it isn't hooked to the grid. It was a policy for a park model home that my agent set me up with, but they assume you're hooked up to utilities (my agent knew it wasn't). After a lengthy hold, they told me they couldn't just insure it as a second home / cabin as it has no primary heat source other than the wood stove (my primary heat source). They did have some sort of limited policy they could offer that was basically a $250 policy that became a $675 policy due to the fact that our property was 6 mi from the fire dept. So, more money for less insurance than I had due to depreciation clauses written into it.

I checked with several other companies and even thought about just going with the liability only policy from the Woodland Owner's assoc. One agent I was talking to mentioned that a liability policy from Woodland Owner's would not cover if someone got hurt in the actual cabin...his scenario was if someone broke into the place and got hurt and sued. Maybe he was just trying to sell me a policy, but he seemed to know what he was talking about. I did at least need liability as USAA requires a minimum of 300k liability on anything you want covered under their umbrella policies.

I did finally just get a quote through a local co-op that will work at a reasonable price. They know exactly what they are insuring as I sent pics and details. They are insuring it as a recreational second home / cabin, and wrote the policy to specifically also cover my shed and contents. They know it's heated by wood, etc.

So what I learned...the big companies have a bunch of boxes to check. If your place doesn't fit the boxes they won't insure you. Even if an agent gets you a policy, it doesn't mean it's right or it will cover you in the event of a loss. For cabins, since they don't fit the cookie cutter mold, dealing with a smaller local co-op may be the only way to get it insured for a decent price.

But all that doesn't seem to stop the insurance companies from getting way more out of my pocket than I want to part with.

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 18 Feb 2021 23:50
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I called our long time agent, got the liability extension, or whatever they call it, on our homeowners policy; it was waayyy cheap, Im thinking like $18 a year.
Why? Because I dont want some yahoo owning my property because I didnt do my due diligence as a reasonable man to cover my, uhmm, assets.
They wont insure the cabin with a woodstove so no sense in me redoing the po's hack job with expensive class A to code other than It Is The Safe Thing To Do.
So we are 'self insured' on the cabin; ie, accept the risk/pay out of pocket if need be. We are good with that.
I should call but I think the contents are covered against loss from theft or vandalism. Not sure about maybe a forest fire that takes the place out; ie, fire not caused inside.

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