I live in one area and have vacant land in another area. I am aware that you have automatic liability coverage extended from your homeowners insurance to your vacant land as long as there is no structure, etc. on it, and they recommend that you have no hunting /trespassing signs properly posted. BUT now if you have a LEASE with a gas company, some (maybe all) insurance companies will now NOT cover that vacant land, even though there is NO activity by the gas company on that land. Also one insurance company stated that since you got bonus money from the lease, that means that you made money off that land and we will no longer honor that extended liability clause that extends from your homeowners to that vacant land. I called another company and they said that they will not cover it because I now have a lease on it, although I tried to explain to them that I just have a lease and that there is no activity, drilling, etc. on it, and if and when they start drilling or whatever on my vacant land, I then will call them and then they could drop me or remove that extended liability clause. Anybody have any input or insight to this issue/or talked to their insurance company? I would like to believe that insurance companies could distinguish between an inactive lease vs. an active one (drilling, pipes, etc.)
Preston...I do have a hold harmless clause added to my lease, But you stated that "as far as the vacant land, it is still covered for any non drilling/lease claims"...are you referring to when there is some kind of activity by the gas company such as drilling, digging, etc.and some passer-by (not a gas worker) is walking on my property and gets hurt OR are you referring to when there is no activity at all by the gas company. That s the part where I need some clarification on. In other words, lets say I sign a lease today and the gas company does nothing, no activity at all on my vacant land (no drilling, no digging, no surveying,etc.) for 4 years. I would think that for those 4 years, my extended liability from my home owners insurance policy would cover me, then once the gas co begins some kind of activity, they would cover me. But the insurance people I talked to stated that they would not honor that extended liability feature that extends from my homeowners policy to vacant land ONCE I sign a gas lease, even if there is no activity by the gas company.
This all sounds fishy to me. That would mean if you had a old lease from decades ago and no activity for the last 15 years the insurance company could use that as a lame excuse to not cover you today even though they took your premiums all those years. I would call your state insurance commisioneer and ask.
Randall the insurance company can not get out of a contract because you signed a lease. They can norenew or give notice of cancelation with the correct timeline under state laws. If the claim had nothing to do with the lease or drilling on your vacant land then it should be paid. The devil is in the details and each case will be based on the facts of that case. I would read over your policy and ask your agent or company rep to show you where it would be covered or not covered. The policy is the only thing that matters in a claim, because that is where it will be paid or not. Everyone has their own views, that is why we have a court system.
...yes, what you have said here makes alot of sense, and gives me much more clarity compared to the other people that I have spoken with. I thank you for that. Also you mentioned earlier that you know of some insurance companies that will insure someone with vacant land with a gas lease here in Pa. Can you let me know what companies they are either via here on this site or call me and/or leave message at 412 875 6014.
The PA Game Comission has a program: "PA Game Commission Public Access Cooperative Agreement".
If you have land (suitable for hunting) and enroll the land in this program, the land is available for Public Access for the purposes of hunting.
In exchange for your willingness to allow access to licensed hunters, Gane Wardens "police" the property and the State of PA indemnifies you from the types of stupid things that people do.
"The Pennsylvania Landowner Liability Act encourages owners of land to make their property available to the public for recreational purposes such as hunting and trapping by limiting their liability toward persons who may visit your property for such purposes."
I have attached a pdf file.
It is difficult to locate anything about this program on the Game Commission website; best to contact your local Game Warden for more information.
If you are an absentee owner, this is a perfect (and free) way to have your interests protected.