What Kinds of Insurance Does Your Land Trust Need?
There are so many different kinds of insurance. How do you decide what you need? Here’s a breakdown of the most common types of coverage that land trusts need. This overview can help you ask your insurance broker the right questions, so you can be sure that you’ll have the coverage you need when you need it.
Accidents happen and when they do, you might have to pay. General liability covers the costs of bodily injury and property damage caused by accidents that you’re held responsible for. For example, if someone gets hurt on a hike at one of your preserves and they sue you, this is the policy you need to cover your costs.
Directors and Officers Liability
It’s important to understand why you need both general liability and directors and officers Liability (D&O) coverage. In short, general liability covers you when bad things happen by accident and D&O covers you when people make bad decisions (or someone claims that they did). Many D&O claims involve employment practices like wrongful termination, discriminatory hiring, or sexual harassment. They also cover liability for wrongful management decisions. D&O insurance protects both the land trust and the individual board or staff members who direct it.
Conservation Defense Liability
It used to be that you couldn’t buy insurance to cover the legal costs of conservation defense. Now you can! In 2011, the Alliance introduced Terrafirma Risk Retention Group, LLC — an nonprofit insurance company that covers land trusts’ costs when they need to go to court to defend an easement. Terrafirma is owned by its members — over 500 land trusts across the country.
If you purchase property or easements, you can’t risk losing one due to a legal problem with the title. When you hold title insurance, you know that if a problem arises, the title company has your back.
Most of us are familiar with property insurance, which we carry on our homes and personal possessions. When you own something valuable, property insurance protects your investment. Land trusts may want to get insurance on land, buildings and other improvements, vehicles, farm equipment, office equipment, and other valuable property.
Other Types of Coverage
The main types of coverage are listed above, but there are other types of coverage you might want to consider:
Excess and Umbrella Liability
This is extra coverage that goes beyond your primary insurance. It’s good to have if you need to cover major losses, although it only kicks in after you meet a high deductible, often $10,000.
Volunteer Accident Coverage
If someone gets hurt while volunteering for your land trust, this policy helps to reimburse their medical expenses.
Non-owned Automobile Liability
If someone driving his or her own vehicle on behalf of your land trust gets into an accident, this policy covers the costs of the accident--but only after the vehicle owner’s insurance runs out.
If people working for your land trust get hurt on the job, workers comp covers their medical claims and lost income.
We know! All of those insurance policies take a bite out of the budget. That’s why the Alliance worked with Alliant Insurance Services, Inc. to provide Conserv-a-nation insurance packages for land trusts. Alliance member land trusts can join at reduced group rates, so your insurance dollars go further. If you have questions about Conserv-a-nation, please contact Meghan Mullee by phone at (703) 547-6292 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.