Why buy a Property Owners Liability Insurance (also called Land Insurance)?
If you own land, perhaps a development plot or a field you have purchased, it is possible that a person may enter it and hurt themselves. The law requires you, as the owner, to keep the land safe and will hold you responsible for any injuries. This applies even if the person was trespassing!
This type of insurance is called “Property Owners Liability” and is usually provided free of charge with a Buildings or Home policy. However, if you don’t have a building to insure or perhaps the land is adjacent to your home but on separate a deed, you will need to buy a “stand-alone” policy.
A frequent question we receive is, “what if the injured person was on the land illegally, then surely there wouldn’t be any negligence on the owner’s part?” Sadly, this isn’t correct and a trespasser has as much right to compensation as anybody else!
Additionally, please bear in mind that many of the claims that we receive are not where there has been any real fault at all. They are simply an alleged incident that has been exaggerated because the third party has managed to find a “no win, no fee” legal service to pursue an action for them.
Property Owners Liability insurance also covers your legal costs in defending these cases. If you didn’t buy insurance, a typical solicitor could charge you £150 per hour or more. This would mean that one hour of advice would actually exceed the typical annual cost of an insurance policy for a small piece of land!
You have to buy some insurance policies because the law says so (such as Car Insurance or Employers Liability) or sometimes because you are contractually obliged to do so (such as your house when you have a mortgage). Although there is no doubt that Property Owners Liability Insurance is not a high priority to purchase, the cost is relatively low and provides excellent peace of mind.
What does Property Owners Liability Insurance cover?
Under a Property Owners Liability insurance policy, sometimes called Public Liability for land, cover is provided for compensation to the third party. It will also protect the policyholder the for legal defence costs from solicitors and barristers.