The Scope - May 2018
THE SECRET IS SIMPLE!
The simple truth is that any arrangement that permits hunters access to private land for hunting purposes and at the same time manages the wildlife resource in a responsible manner is good for the future of hunting. Although the AHLA provides education and guidance for both landowners and hunters on the hunting lease arrangement, we steadfastly believe the goal for every hunting based company should be to grow the sport and lifestyle we all love and enjoy. Lack of access to quality wildlife habitat is the most cited reason sportsmen/women for lay down their guns and bows for good. Sadly, every time a seasoned hunter makes that decision, he or she leaves a legacy of unfulfilled memories for a generation of hunters that would have benefitted from their experience and encouragement.
As the Chief Operating Officer for the American Hunting Lease Association, I have the privilege of speaking with men and women from across the country who share the same passion for hunting and the outdoors that I do. They are hardworking Americans who wear their fluorescent vests and hard hats to the job site every day. They have simply learned that the days of asking for permission to hunt, without regard for the landowners risk and expenses are long gone. To be successful, you have to address the landowner’s needs.
So, the “secret” to accessing private land is simple: TAKE CARE OF YOUR LANDOWNER!
Whether you agree to pay to lease the land or agree to another arrangement, accessing private land doesn’t have to cost a lot. I am certain there are landowners in every state willing to allow the right group of hunters onto their properties for little compensation. The group that gets to hunt the prime ground in any county is the one that recognizes and satisfies the needs of the landowner. Is that you?
Next are the components of a hunting lease policy and why they are important for you to have. These will give you the upper hand when asking a landowner if you can hunt their property. This will give them the peace of mind and also protect you at the same time.
Nearly every policy you will find available online is a master policy. A master policy has several advantages, but the most beneficial is cost. Providing a master policy compared to a custom written policy can differ dramatically in price. The AHLA policy offers coverage starting at $185, while the cost of a custom policy for identical coverage can start at over $800. The only limitation of a master policy is the start date is predetermined. The AHLA offers two different master policies. Our spring policy starts on March 1 each year and our fall policy starts on August 1 each year. Offering two different start dates allows us to accommodate more hunters and landowners and their hunting lease needs.
Insured. (Add up to 7 landowners FREE with AHLA policy)
Nearly every policy you will find online will offer to add your landowner(s) as additional insureds. While this is an important coverage feature, it really doesn’t offer the highest possible coverage. Additionally, most companies selling this type of insurance will require separate fees to add landowners as additional insureds. These fees add up fast and can turn your total cost for insurance into an unaffordable situation. The AHLA recognizes the importance of protecting your landowners AND your hunt club. That is why we require that all parties be listed as named insureds, offering you the highest level of coverage, and we provide that benefit to you at NO ADDITIONAL COST!
Coverage for every member of your hunt club AND your landowner.
Thier is a simple answer to an often asked question. The AHLA policy covers every member in your hunt club as well as your landowner(s). Although we don’t ask for the names of your hunt club members, our policy provides coverage from liability based on the hunting lease agreement between your landowners and hunt club. If a claim were to be filed, the independent adjuster will then ask for a copy of your lease agreement and confirm that the party filing a claim was in fact listed on the hunting lease.
Medical pay (no less than $5000)
Under no circumstance should you purchase a hunting lease insurance
policy with Medical pay coverage less than $5000!
Although hunting has proven to be one of the safest activities Americans participate in, accidents can and do happen. Fortunately, the insurance industry recognizes that some injuries require immediate medical attention and insured parties may need funds sooner rather than later to address medical bills. The medical pay benefit addresses this concern by issuing funds for the sole purpose of addressing medical bills quickly. Any claim investigation is completed and approved/denied without regard for medical pay benefits already paid. This coverage is a good will gesture on the part of the insurance industry and should be considered an important benefit when researching hunting lease insurance.
The AHLA coverage benefit for Medical Pay is $5,000.
Coverage Limits. ($1,000,000/$2,000,000)
The industry standard coverage for a master policy is $1,000,000/$2,000,000, but what exactly do these numbers mean? Simply stated, coverage with these limits would allow up to $1 million coverage benefit per occurrence. So, if property damage or bodily injury were to occur due to one incident. This liability coverage would pay no more than $1 million to settle claims from that particular incident. The $2 million limit is an aggregate amount or maximum the policy will pay for all incidents or occurrences during the policy period.
Under the AHLA master policy guests of hunt club members are covered for bodily injury or property damage they may have caused accidentally. They would also be provided coverage from injury or property damage they suffered due to the (non-intentional) actions of a hunt club member or landowner. This is an important coverage for hunters that may want to take a child on an occasional hunt or for any hunt club member that wants to bring a guest. Of course, individual hunt club rules apply, but coverage is afforded to those guests when they are hunting on the listed property.
Member to Member Coverage
Can one hunt club member file a claim accusing another hunt club member of causing bodily injury or property damage? You bet they can. In many instances in the South, hunt clubs can have well over 100 members. It is possible for one member to unknowingly and accidentally cause injury to another member. The AHLA master policy covers all members of your hunt club, including from each other. While most policies on the market today offer this type of coverage, it is worth asking before making your purchase.
Liability from ATVs and Tree Stands
The key word in this coverage is liability. Many companies selling this type of insurance will simply tell you that ATVs and tree stands are covered. To be honest, this is only half true. Remember, this type of insurance is not meant or designed to be health coverage or offer protection against theft. Hunting lease insurance is designed to protect you or your hunt club in the event you cause damage or injury to another person. In the case of ATVs and tree stands, if you are found to be liable for injuries sustained in a fall from a tree stand then coverage would be trigged. However, if your ATV was stolen, this coverage would simply not apply. So, liability that arises from the use of ATVs and tree stands is certainly covered by the AHLA hunting lease policy!
If we have learned anything over the last eight years, we know that good communication is the key to a successful hunting lease arrangement. When both landowners and hunters can sit down and agree to terms like price, tree stand use, ATV use, camping etc., it makes everyone’s expectations clear from the beginning. A written hunting lease agreement is a vital part of the hunting lease process and simply is crucial to any arrangement involving access to another person’s property. The amount charged for access can be zero, but a written agreement will provide everyone with a clear outline of expected behavior. It is also important to remember that a written agreement must be signed for your hunting lease insurance policy. The AHLA provides the use of our custom hunting lease agreement FREE with every insurance policy purchase.
Whether you pay for a hunting lease or work out an arrangement with the landowner standing on the front porch, we just want you to safely enjoy your time in the woods!
WE OFFER FREE, INSTANT ONLINE QUOTES AND NEXT DAY COVERAGE
ARE YOU PROTECTED?
HUNT CLUB AND HUNTING LEASE INSURANCE
- Protects the landowner and the hunter from legal liability. (You aren't fully protected by a hunting lease or by common law. Learn more below.)
- Provides legal defense in court for both insured parties.
- Impress prospective landowners with your commitment to safe hunting.
- Creates the opportunity for a safe hunting experience, without the competition found on public land.
WRITTEN LEASE AGREEMENT
Hunting for an impartial and fully customizable hunting lease contract for your group or hunt club?
Finally... your hunt is over!
Our customizable agreement is included at no additional charge when you purchase hunting lease insurance through the AHLA