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Vacant land insurance in 2023. A complete guide.

Vacant land insurance

While homeowners insurance protects against losses at home and covers buildings on a property and personal belongings, it generally does not cover vacant land. That’s why insurance for vacant land is often recommended as a separate policy.

Vacant land insurance financially protects landowners against misfortune accidents that could take place on their property.

You are at financial risk if you’re a landowner without vacant land insurance. From an insurance perspective, empty land still poses risks.

Landowners must decipher whether or not the associated risks incentivize getting land insurance.

In this guide to insurance for vacant land, we will examine what those risks are and why you should consider buying insurance for vacant land.

Table of contents:

  • Vacant land liability insurance
  • Do I need insurance on vacant land?
  • What does vacant land insurance cover?
  • What are the limitations of vacant land insurance?
  • Vacant land insurance cost

Vacant land liability insurance

Essentially, vacant land insurance is a type of liability insurance.

Vacant land insurance serves to protect the homeowner if anyone gets hurt on their property and sues the owner as a result.

In other words, this insurance type will pay for the injured person’s medical costs and cover the homeowner’s legal fees.

From a legal perspective, trespassers can sue you and win for various unfortunate and unexpected accidents that occur on your property. It’s also possible for friends and acquaintances to sue you for the same reasons.

Case in point, vacant land insurance mitigates financial damage from these unforeseen possibilities.

Liability insurance does not protect the land itself or any structures on it. Vacant land insurance is purely liability protection against accidents, third party injuries, and the resulting fees.

Do I need insurance on vacant land?

No, it is not a legal requirement. You’re not required by law to have vacant land insurance. Nevertheless, protecting yourself and your property from litigation or medical expenses is advisable.

Vacant land insurance is especially important if your property has a lot of footfall. It’s always wise to prepare for the unexpected.

Moreover, it’s advisable to get insured if activities such as hunting or fishing take place on your property (or any other activity where someone could get hurt).

Why you may need vacant land insurance

As the landowner, it’s your responsibility to inform visitors of possible risks. You are also expected to properly maintain the land and regularly check for potential hazards.

It’s advisable to let visitors (friends or the general public) know they’re assuming all liability once you have pointed out any risks on your land.

What could go wrong with vacant land? Let’s look at some of the risks involved and consider how vacant land insurance would help in each scenario.


If there’s a stream or a pond on your property and you allow people to fish on it, you need to consider vacant land insurance.

Imagine a fisherman heads to the pond one fine day but slips on the path. Even worse, he manages to injure his friend with a fishing hook.

There are two injured parties in this incident, and you could be liable for those damages.

In addition, if the visitors to your property pay fees to fish, you hold more liability than if they enter for free.

If you’re found responsible, land insurance can help you pay for medical bills and lawsuit judgments (up to your limit) if it gets to that.


Buying land insurance is wise if you allow hunters on your property. There are many risks involved with hunting, such as the use of firearms and other types of hunting equipment.

Let’s assume you allow hunting on your property, and a hunter falls from a tree. This particular tree had a faulty tree stand next to it which they fell from. You could be sued for negligence.

Even if the lawsuit gets withdrawn, the legal fees are still expensive. You could be liable for all legal costs plus the lawsuit or claim payout if you're found liable.

This is when your land insurance will save you from paying the cost. It could also pay for legal costs since this is liability related.

Even if the faulty tree stand issue was unknown to you at the time, you’re still held liable.


Let’s imagine your land is open to the public. Even without the risks mentioned above, hikers pose a liability.

It’s possible to lessen your liability by eliminating hazardous issues and by bringing attention to dangerous parts of your land’s terrain.

If an old structure on your property collapses on a curious hiker who entered it, you could be facing a lawsuit.

While land insurance may cover injuries on your property, remember that it might not cover structures on your property.

All-terrain vehicles (ATV)

Letting people ride on your land in their vehicle for free may seem innocent, but that comes with a high risk.

All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are easily flipped over. If someone flips and rolls over due to your property, you can be held liable under the premise that your land wasn’t maintained.

What's more, you will have to pay for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and more if the person is severely injured.

Basic land insurance may not protect against all-terrain vehicle damages.

Foot traffic and trespassers

Your land will likely be used as a public route, especially if it’s close to other homes or a town. Even without your permission, you still hold an amount of liability.

While it’s not mandatory to make vacant land “safe,” you’re not allowed to cause intentional harm to trespassers.

In other words, if you know there are risks to being on your property - and a trespasser is injured there, you could be held liable for that accident.

Further to that, you may be held responsible for damage that trespassers caused on your property if there is no evidence to the contrary.

For example, if someone causes a fire on your land, burning down a small woodland of trees. Without land insurance, you can’t do much to rectify the loss. Vacant land insurance can protect you against such damages.

The bottom line

The size of your property and the vacant land area doesn’t matter when it comes to deciding whether to buy insurance. It also doesn’t matter if you allow visitors on your land or not.

Land insurance is the safest choice all around for every possible scenario.

Insurance for vacant land can help pay for medical expenses, legal fees, and forms of property destruction.

However, landowner laws and hazards vary, so each landowner can be liable for various things. According to how the land is used, some need it more than others.

You can get a land survey done to find what potential hazards you face.

What does vacant land insurance cover?

Being a form of liability protection, insurance for vacant land covers costs associated with accidents or injuries, such as:

  • Legal costs
  • Lost wages
  • Medical bills
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Death benefits

What are the limitations of vacant land insurance?

Before you buy vacant land insurance, you should also know what it does not cover.

First, you are not financially protected by vacant land insurance against any injuries that were purposefully inflicted. Furthermore, it won’t protect you if someone suffers injuries while working for you.

Lastly, because it’s a form of liability insurance, you, your partner, or any of your dependents are not protected from personal injury by vacant land insurance.

The takeaway: insurance on vacant land

To summarize the most salient points of this guide, no matter the size of your property, vacant land insurance is always a smart investment.

Insurance for vacant land is a form of liability protection, and doesn’t cover any structures on a property.

Vacant land insurance is essential coverage for landowners who use their property for risky activities. It’s equally essential coverage if the land is open to the public.

For an affordable monthly premium, vacant land insurance will offer you financial and legal protection.

If you regularly use your land for outdoor activities and have visitors (including the public) on your land, this type of insurance is essential.

Anyone who is involved in an unfortunate accident or injury on your property can receive financial support for medical costs while you avoid paying legal fees for any such event.

Vacant land insurance cost

The good news is it’s relatively cheap. Vacant land insurance is comparatively inexpensive to purchase compared to most insurance types.

For example, a $1-$2 million policy for a large piece of land can cost you somewhere in the region of $100 a month or less. For the substantial protection you receive, it’s a must for most landowners.

Depending on the size and location of your property, the average $1-$2 million policy starts at around $27 per month.

For $27 per month, you would pay only $324 per year. While using the property as you wish, you can have peace of mind you’re covered in the event of an accident.

Several factors determine the overall cost of vacant land insurance, such as:

  • The size of your land
  • The amount of protection you want and need
  • Activities that take place on your land and what it’s used for
  • Any known dangers that exist on your land (for example, an uncovered well).

Vacant land insurance quote

As it’s offered by most providers, vacant land insurance is not hard to find. Before you get vacant land insurance, getting a free quote to weigh up your options is a good idea.

First things first, you should consult your home insurance company. It may be possible to get vacant land insurance as supplemental coverage or an add-on.

Take note before you get insurance for vacant land, your property may need to be inspected to verify your coverage factors.

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