It’s not uncommon for those managing a conservatorship for a protected person in Minnesota to have to confront the challenge presented by vacant properties. It’s common that a protected person may still possess a piece of property where they no longer reside, but that property may still need to be protected by some type of insurance. As a conservator, it is your duty to obtain vacant property coverage for any unused properties owned by the protected person whose conservatorship you manage.
What is Vacant Property Coverage?
Vacant property coverage is similar to homeowner’s insurance, but it is exclusively for a piece of property where no one resides or conducts business (even if one existed there and is now demolished). This can either be a vacant lot or an empty piece of land that is used for hunting or fishing, etc. This will also apply to any vacant land purchased that is adjacent to land where a home or building exists.
Vacant property insurance generally offers two common types of protection: injury and property damage. Keep in mind that all plans will differ. Injury coverage will protect you should someone become injured on your property, even though it is not in use. Property damage will protect you in case the property is damaged or vandalized.
As a conservator, it may be your responsibility to obtain this type of coverage on any vacant properties owed by the protected person. One of the more common challenges that conservators can run into is that a majority of homeowner’s insurance policies have a statement in it where it voids coverage on a property if no one resides there.
Tips for Managing a Vacant Property in Minnesota
If the property owned by a protected person is used for hunting or fishing, this exposes the owner to greater liability risks. It’s always a good idea to inform hunters and visitors of any dangers that may be present on the land, including abandoned wells, marshes/swamps and other bodies of water, and any other hazards that may be present on the property. Checking in on the property is one of the most important things an owner can do. Changing the locks can also be a good idea as it prevents unwanted access.
It may also be a good idea to hire a security company to patrol the property/area until the property is sold (if that is a part of future plans).
How to Insure Vacant Land in Minnesota
If you have already had homeowners or other property insurance through a conservatorship, your insurance provider may be able to extend your current plan in order to accommodate vacant property. Otherwise, you will need to find another insurance provider who specializes in this type of property insurance.
Disclaimer: this is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you need legal counsel, please contact an attorney directly.