Of course the vacant property owner needs insurance coverage! The insurance companies will emphatically tell you about all the liability risk – general, as well as bodily harm and property damage perils that exist in an unoccupied home, building or lot. But don’t take a blanket statement about it at face value until you view for yourself some very real claims examples. For your information, the professional agents bring you these land scenarios!
• A downtown area vacant lot owner had a protective chain-link gate constructed around the property. As time progressed, however, age and weather conditions took their toll on the encasement. The fence was not in the best of condition anymore when a passerby suffered an eye injury as a result of a protruding chain link. The lawsuit ended with the insurance policy taking the brunt of defense costs and out-of-court mediation that resulted in a $350,000 payout.
• A pedestrian slipped on the sidewalk that ran next to a vacant lot. Her injury consisted of a broken hip. The women alleged that the leaves that had fallen onto the sidewalk from the lot were the cause of her misfortune. An insurance claim settlement was reached at $200,000. This included the $16,000 reserved for defense expenses.
• A motorcycle rider was struck by a car. Following the auto accident, the responsible party filed a lawsuit against the neighboring vacant lot owner, alleging that the posted lot sign’s hid his view of traffic. It was determined that the signs had no effect on the cause of collision. Related expenses came to $7,500.
• A man riding a bike around a fenced-in vacant lot hurt himself on a broken part of the property fence that stuck out. After filing a suit, the man received $45,000 for damages. The policyholder’s insurance also paid $20,000 for legal expenses. Ultimately, however, an award appeal resolved the issue. Payout included $30,000 with defense expenses paid by the coverage.
• Sitting directly next to a public sports’ field was a vacant lot. Though sports fans parked their cars and trucks on the public property, an incident involving a dead branch of a tree located on the adjacent private vacant lot occurred. With three workers’ cars damaged, a claim was forthcoming that resulted in $12,000 compensation.
• Teenage juveniles unlawfully used their free time to smoke on a vacant lot, causing a brush fire. The fire soon swept across the property, torching neighboring homes. The vacant land owner was held partially liable and responsible for damages and property replacement cost totaling $6,500.
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