"A lot of times, homeowner policies will only carry minimum liability coverage of anywhere from $25,000 to $300,000," says R. Tim Reed, president of OutdoorsInsurance.com, a Wheeling, W.Va., agency that sells hunt club insurance. "And since most homeowners policies exclude off-of-premises (all-terrain vehicle) use and your auto policy won't cover them, if you take your ATV off your land, you're out there with nothing."
Standard hunt club policies typically provide $1 million in commercial-grade general liability, $2 million aggregate, with a small medical supplement thrown in ($5,000 is typical), all at a price that won't strain a hunter's budget. Annual premiums, which are based on the acreage of the leased tract, average $150 to $250 per club -- or roughly 10 cents per acre -- for tracts up to 2,500 acres.
"When you think about $1 million in coverage for $250, that's a lot of ATVs, a lot of tree stands, a lot of yukking it up and drinking it up with the boys," says Glenn Sudol, president of Outdoor Insurance Group of Louisville, Colo.
Hunt clubs enjoy even better rates if they lease their hunting grounds from a large corporate landowner, which typically has one master hunting insurance policy and passes the premium costs down to hunting groups in their lease fee.
Yes, back in your grandfather's day, large landowners happily allowed hunters access to their land for free to help maintain their property and roust squatters and poachers.
"But in the 1960s and '70s, these landowners began to realize that this was an opportunity to generate revenue off of the land, so they started leasing their land for a fee," says Tim Lowrimore, an account executive who sells hunt club policies for Davis-Garvin Agency in Columbia, S.C. "As people started paying to hunt on these private lands, liability increased for the landowners. That's how we came to need hunt club insurance."