If you are buying, or have bought, some land and are thinking about how, whether or when to develop it, don’t get caught out without insurance or it could become a costly exercise long before any construction starts.
Whatever your reason for purchasing the plot; whether you have a build plan in mind or just want to secure a plot next to your existing land to stop anyone else building on it, do factor in the land liability insurance responsibility while you are buying. This may also be prompted by the bank or mortgage broker if you are borrowing to fund the purchase.
Depending on how the title is arranged, buying a plot right next to your house or business could still trigger a need for separate insurance, so getting the right advice is the first step. The second step is of course to look at the right policy so you are appropriately covered.
Here’s a recent example: clients of ours seeking to expand their holiday business bought a small patch of land from a local farmer so they could put more holiday homes on it. They were planning to get builders on site in the future, but in the short term assumed there wasn’t anything they needed to do as the land was surrounded by cattle fencing topped with barbed wire.
Fortunately they spoke to one of our insurance specialists about getting insurance once the planned changes started. Our specialist was able to point out that the client was now responsible for everything that happened on the land. So, even if someone were to break into the land, effectively trespassing, but injure themselves in the process, for example stepping into a rabbit hole, they could potentially sue the owner.
We were able to arrange a suitable, competitively priced policy that immediately protected the clients. Once the building works starts the builder will be responsible for their own insurance, but the policy we set up will still protect the owner if someone gets onto the site and hurts themselves unrelated to the construction works.
Remember too that you want to protect your visitors as well as insuring against injury caused to trespassers! Whilst planning what to do with your new plot, you are likely to have a range of people exploring the land – surveying, planning and checking on permissions – all at your invitation. You are responsible for their safety on your land, so it’s really important to have appropriate cover in place.
We can arrange property owners’ liability insurance for all types of sites – greenfield and brownfield – for all types of commercial or residential usage and surrounding woods, fields, lakes, etc. Depending on the type and location of the land, whether it is vacant land or has buildings, there may also be hazards you are not aware of until you start trying to build.
Fairweather Insurance’s expert team will advise on the best approach and we can provide a customised policy if needed. So, even if you have no plans at all to work on your new plot of land, protect it – and yourself – right from the start.