Selecting The Best Hunting Lease Insurance Policy
Things have changed in the past few decades. Today, hunting land sales and leases are going at a premium. Even getting permission sees fierce competition. Hunters are having a hard time finding places to lease and gain access to. Part of that is due to high demand, but it’s also a product of reluctant landowners who fear liabilities. Having the best hunting lease insurance policy can help alleviate these fears.
A Need for Protection
While this insurance policy certainly isn’t limited to hunt clubs and leases, decades ago, these helped serve as the original inspiration for the program. And hunt clubs and leases were born in the South.
“It kind of comes from the history of the forest industry in the South,” said Lindsay Thomas, National Deer Hunting Association (NDA) chief communications officer. “Leases kind of got started in the South because we had large tracts of forest land owned by timber companies. Eventually, these large companies and firms started looking for additional ways to get income from their land, as any landowner would. They realized they could lease out the hunting rights.”
While hunt clubs (leases) date back to the late 60s and 70s in the South, leases were not as common in the Northeast and Midwest. It’s definitely a newer thing there because there weren’t large tracts of land owned by timber companies, but things have changed in the past two decades. Competition is almost as fierce now in northern and midwestern states.
Insurance for Hunters
While leases might have sparked initial interest, this offering is open to those who own hunting land, lease it or hunt by permission. Fortunately, even landowners can take out policies on their own land. Still, it’s important to create outlines on who can hunt and participate in activities on the property. (Everyone covered by the policy does not have to be a member of the NDA to be included.)
“It is for any hunting land,” Thomas said. “It doesn’t have to be a lease. It can be land you own or have permission to hunt. You can get a policy that covers you and the landowner. You’re just talking a few hundred dollars for a big piece of land.”
Thomas said not every policy is designed with hunting in mind, but this one is. Things that are inherent with hunting are covered by this liability protection and it protects hunters and landowners.
“Right now, it’s $52 in addition to your basic charge to cover the landowner,” said Linda Walls, NDA senior customer service representative.
According to Walls, the policy has $1 million per occurrence of general liability coverage, a $2 million general aggregate (which is the one-year life of the policy), $100,000 fire legal liability coverage, member-to-member coverage and guest liability coverage.”
It also touts no hidden exclusions for claims involving firearms, treestands, ATVs, limited watercraft, and more, which is common among general policies that aren’t “hunting-centric”. Furthermore, there is no deductible on general liability.
That said, it’s important to know that some things aren’t covered. Some of those things include bodily injury or property damage arising from the use of aircraft, assault and battery, commercial hunting operations, intentional or expected acts, pollution, vehicles, and worker’s compensation. As noted, commercial hunting operations, including guide services, outfitters and subleased properties are not eligible.
According to Outdoor Underwriters, other examples of things being covered or not covered is “a situation that would be covered is a campfire that gets out of control and burns valuable timber. This coverage does not cover structures such as hunting cabins and houses.”
Landowners and hunters alike have some legal risks when using a property, even for recreational purposes. All parties involved can benefit from having a liability insurance plan in place. Don’t risk personal assets and look into the best hunting lease insurance policy you can find.
Each year, this master policy runs from August 1 to August 1. It can be taken out at any time of the year, but it isn’t prorated. You must renew on August 1.
Leverage for Hunters
A lot of hunters knocking on doors for leases and permission properties alike don’t use all of the tools at their disposal. Hunting land insurance is a major tactic to convince a hesitant landowner.
“If you’re knocking on someone’s door, and saying you’d love to have permission to hunt their land, they might say they’re worried about liability,” Thomas said. “You can say, well, I’m getting hunting liability insurance that will cover myself and you as well. Show them the details and that it was designed for hunting. It’s a great selling point to a hesitant landowner.”
It won’t always work, but oftentimes, it’ll help close the distance. That’s good news for those who are working hard to find a place to hunt for family, friends and themselves.
Applying for Coverage
For those who decide to move forward with hunting liability or hunting clubs insurance, the application process is very simple. Just go to NDA’s website and fill out the required forms.
“The application is very simple,” Walls said. “You just need your club name, representative name, mailing address for the representative (to send correspondence to), the landowner’s name, their mailing address, land location (city, county and state), acreage, etc. It’s nothing complicated.”
Plus, you get a free NDA membership by signing up, which is a $35 value. What’s not to love about that?
Less Than 250 Acres: $232
251-499 Acres: $242
500-749 Acres: $257
750-999 Acres: $275
1,000-1,249 Acres: $293
1,250-1,499 Acres: $314
1,500-1,749 Acres: $334
1,750-1,999 Acres: $353
2,000-3,499 Acres: $0.19 per acre
3,500-4,999 Acres: $0.18 per acre
5,000-Plus Acres: $0.16 per acre
Contact the National Deer Association (NDA) with questions. Policies are underwritten by Outdoor Underwriters, Inc.
About Outdoor Underwriters Inc.
Founded by Ed Wilson, Ph.D., he wanted to offer affordable insurance to the outdoor industry that covered common hunting occurrences, especially;y some of the best hunting. lease insurance. He built relationships, and Outdoor Underwriters Inc. has continued doing that ever since, and they insure more than 50,000 properties nationwide.
About the National Deer Association
Once known as the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), it combined with the National Deer Alliance to become the National Deer Association (NDA) on November 10, 2020. As one organization, it strives to conserve deer and deer hunters.