Exploring the Fundamentals of Vacant Land Insurance Coverage in 2024

Vacant Land Insurance

Say you own some land. We’re going to talk about whether you need vacant land insurance. You might think, “Do I need insurance coverage for owning vacant land?” In short, yes.

Vacant land insurance is relatively easier for insurance agents to quote, especially if the land is actually vacant. Of course, the caveat is how an insurance company defines vacancy. Not understanding the specific definition could land you with an insurance policy that becomes void once it’s time to file a claim.

We’ll go over everything you need to learn about vacant land insurance, so you’re well-informed if you ever need to insure your land.

How Insurers Define Vacant Land

Vacant land: A tract or parcel without any structures or improvements. Regardless of the type of land you own, be it an empty lot or acres of woods, they must share one commonality: No Structures. The structure doesn’t have to be a roofed building; it can be a fence, boat dock, water well or a flagpole.

If your land has anything other than vegetation, it’s considered improved, not vacant. Improved properties require “dwelling fire” insurance. If the lot you own is vacant by definition, there are a few ways to insure it. But first, let’s start with why you need a policy at all.

Is Vacant Land Insurance Really Necessary?

Technically, it’s not a legal requirement. Although the law doesn’t require you to have vacant land insurance, it’s more than advisable to protect yourself and your property from litigation or medical expenses. If you have a lot of footfalls on your property, then we recommend being prepared for the unexpected.

If you have several people—friends, family—on your property for fishing or hunting activities, or any other activity where someone could get hurt, it’s best to have vacant land liability insurance handy.

Vacant Land: If You Own It, You’re Liable

Insurance is tricky but also straightforward at times. There’s an adage in insurance: “If it happened on your property, it’s your fault!” It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re at “fault,” but it is your responsibility.

With vacant land, having a ‘No Trespassing’ sign is like having a ‘Beware of Dog’ sign at home—people will look at it, or mostly ignore it anyway. That’s why you need an insurance policy to stay well ahead of any unforeseen events on your land.

Vacant land insurance in itself is a type of liability coverage. So, it can pay legal fees and cover medical expenses should someone be injured on your property. It doesn’t cover structures on the land, but it’s a safety net that protects the policyholder from bankruptcy due to another person’s actions.

It’s your responsibility as the landowner to properly maintain the land, regularly check for potential hazards and inform visitors of possible risks. Letting visitors know that they will assume all liability once you’ve pointed out the possible risks on your land is a safe choice.

Risks and Coverage


Purchasing vacant land insurance should be on your priority list if you have a stream or pond on your property and you allow people to fish on it. Imagine a fisherman slipping and hurting himself on your property. You could be liable for his injuries.


If you plan on hunting or allowing people to hunt on your property, it opens a can of more possible events. Hunting involves several risks, including the use of firearms and hunting equipment.


The potential risks with hikers aren’t hard to imagine now, is it? If your land is open to the public, hikers pose liability.


Allowing ATVs on your property could invite general visitors or encourage hunters. Basic land insurance may not protect against all-terrain vehicle damages.


Trespassers make things rather tricky. Generally, landowners aren’t liable is someone trespasses on their land and is injured. But there are exceptions.

What Does Vacant Land Insurance Cover?

Vacant land insurance is a type of liability coverage, hence covering accidents or injuries, such as:

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

Limitations of Vacant Land Insurance

So, what doesn’t vacant land insurance cover?

  • Injuries suffered by anyone working for the landowner
  • Injuries suffered by the landowner, their spouse, or dependents
  • Purposefully inflicted injuries

Where to Buy Vacant Land Insurance

Most major insurance companies offer vacant land coverage. As a property owner, your best bet may be to ask your current homeowners insurance company whether they offer it.

The Takeaway

The key takeaway, of course, is that purchasing vacant land insurance is a smart investment. It removes the stress of worrying about events you can’t control, especially if your land is open to the public or frequently hosts activities.

Remember, if you own it, you’re liable! So, why not speak to an insurance agent and figure out the next steps. You can connect with top local insurance agents on Agency Height itself, here.

Agency Height
February 13th, 2024 · 8 mins read
Find Insurance Agents Near You
Find an Agent
Get quotes from verified agents easily

Leave a Comment