The 2014 hunting season in the state of Pennsylvania was the second safest on record, with only 29 incidents of hunters shooting themselves or others. The only year that was safer with 2013, when 27 incidents were reported. Compare that to the 552 shooting incidents reported in 1960.
What is happening in Pennsylvania is actually occurring around the country. Hunting is being made safer through new hunter education, public awareness campaigns and efforts among hunting clubs to provide solid firearm education and training. Despite the measurably safer environment hunters now enjoy, incidents still occur. That is why both hunters and landowners need liability insurance for deer hunting.
If you are a landowner or hunter considering not having insurance in place for the fall deer season, here are three reasons you might want to change your mind:
The cost of medical care in the United States continues to rise. We all know that. Nevertheless, how many of us know how bad it really is? Probably far too few. With most of us obtaining health insurance through our employers that result in minimum co-pays and deductibles, it is not unusual to be completely surprised to find out how much medical care costs after insurance runs out. For example, did you know that the average cost for a hospital stay in the U.S. is over $4,000? By the way, that number does not include extra tests and procedures. It only covers room, board, and other basics.
Any hunting accident resulting in a hospital stay could easily exhaust a victim’s personal health insurance in a matter of weeks. An extended stay due to a gunshot wound could have serious financial consequences. Liability insurance for deer hunting provides an extra layer of protection in the event of an accident.
The United States has been described as being ‘highly litigious’ and ‘sue happy’. That is a fair assessment. Because of the liberal structure of our tort laws, it is possible for one party to sue another for virtually any reason. In only takes one sympathetic jury to hand down an award of tens of millions of dollars.
Liability insurance for deer hunting protects landowners from significant financial loss in the event of civil litigation. Of course, a policy would only protect to the extent of its limits, but hunting insurance is better than no insurance. In light of a culture all too willing to pursue civil litigation, it is just foolish to lease land without having liability insurance in place.
There are those times when landowners have neighbors that are none too happy a hunting lease has been offered. Sometimes these cranky neighbors can be the kinds of people who will look for any excuse to cause trouble. They are the types of neighbors a landowner needs liability protection against. Once again, liability insurance for deer hunting offers that protection.
A good insurance policy will cover inadvertent property damage hunters may cause on neighboring properties. Of course, landowners are required to clearly establish the boundaries of their land and inform hunters of any risks associated with neighboring property. Nonetheless, as long as the landowner takes every reasonable step to prevent accidents, his/her insurance policy should provide adequate coverage.
Liability insurance for deer hunting is not a luxury. It is a necessity for anyone who plans to hunt or to lease land to hunters. There is too much at risk to go into the 2015 hunting season without insurance in place. Do not do it, unless you are prepared for the possible consequences.
- Lancaster Online – http://lancasteronline.com/sports/outdoors/pennsylvania-s-dramatic-drop-in-hunting-accidents-a-closer-look/article_a125d75c-f80d-11e4-adff-7fc58b91dfc8.html
- USA Today – http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2015/03/28/cheat-sheet-expensive-medical-procedures/70442260/
- AHLA – http://ahuntinglease.org/hunting-lease-insurance