Why you shouldn’t forget to insure land during Probate

If someone owns land that is not included in any property deeds, then they should consider arranging a land insurance policy.

If someone on their land has an accident, causing injury or damage to their property, the landowner could be legally liable for significant costs, including legal fees, medical expenses, and compensation. Land insurance can provide protection against these costs and give landowners peace of mind.

Even someone on land unlawfully could sue the landowner.

The scope of duty to people on land will vary depending on their status:

  1. Lawful visitors (and their property) are covered by the Occupiers Liability Act 1957
  2. Trespassers are covered by the Occupiers Liability Act 1984.

These Acts say that a reasonable occupier (i.e. the landowner) has to take more care for lawful visitors than for trespassers. But trespassers are still owed a duty of care.

The landowner’s duty of care is higher:

  • If they know or ought to know that there is a danger on their land
  • When preventing injuries to children, as they are less careful than adults.

Claims for personal injury can be significant, so it may be prudent to arrange land insurance in the name of the estate.  Claims.co.uk have produced a number of examples of general damages under Judicial College Guidelines.  The amount that could be paid out depends on whether the injury is classed as minor, moderate, severe or very severe.   Very severe claims can be significant and be several hundred thousand pounds.

You can view these claims examples here.

What is land insurance?

Land insurance is not a complex insurance product.  It is effectively a public liability insurance for land.

The policy provides protection to the landowner against third party claims for injury, death or damage to property suffered whilst on your land.

In the event of a claim, the insurance policy pays for your legal defence.  In the event a claimant is successful, the insurance policy pays for any damages and costs awarded by the court.

Arranging insurance for land during Probate

When the owner of land dies, the duty of care and potential liability will pass to the estate and the executors.

The executors or personal representatives will have a duty of care to anyone that enters land in the estate until it is inherited.  If someone on this land suffers an injury or their property is damaged the executors or personal representatives could be legally liable if they found to be negligent. Land insurance can defend the executors and personal representatives’ personal liability, protect the estate from financial loss and pay any damages following a successful claim.

This is why the executors should immediately insure any land owned by the deceased that is not contained within the boundary of their property.

Examples of land owned by the deceased could be land earmarked for development, grazing land, a private road, carpark and more.

When getting a quotation from Insuristic you can insure the land in the name of the estate.  The Insured name will either be:

  • The Executors of the estate of ‘Name of the Deceased’ (if there is a will)
  • The Administrators of the estate of ‘Name of the Deceased’ (if there is no will)

Check our land insurance page for more information.

How much does land insurance cost?

The cost of defending a claim and paying damages could be significant.  The cost of land insurance is therefore relatively inexpensive.

The cost of land insurance is priced by the type of land, how many acres need insuring and the level of indemnity required.

When buying a policy from Insuristic, our minimum premium is just £106 (plus Insurance Premium Tax, based on the cost of someone insuring up to 5 Acres of grazing land for a £1 million indemnity.

This article was submitted to be published by Insuristic as part of their advertising agreement with Today’s Wills and Probate. The views expressed in this article are those of the submitter and not those of Today’s Wills and Probate.

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