My question involves real estate located in the State of: Texas
I hope this is the right forum, I didn't see another one that looked suitable.
My father passed away recently. He owned a large piece of rural property used almost exclusively for family recreation. It has never been anyone's primary residence for as long has he has owned it.
For some unknown reason, was carrying a huge liability policy on the place, one with an annual premium so high that none of his heirs can keep it up.
The land is under a grazing lease, with some oil and gas production that pay insignificant royalties (he had a tiny fraction of the mineral.)
I recall my dad saying several years ago that he was worried about one of our neighbors, a good friend who frequently did work for him and looked after the place, was allowing his friends access to the place and that it could result in a lawsuit if someone got hurt. About that time, too, other family members were beginning to use the place to ride ATVs and frequently having guests out.
I was advised by phone by one of my siblings about this situation tonight and don't have all the details yet about the policy such as the limits and covered losses, but why would it be necessary to carry liability insurance on what is currently unimproved land? I could understand if it were a large sport hunting operation, but the grazing lease surely wouldn't require liability coverage. Besides, the income off of that wouldn't begin to cover the premium.
Does access to the property by non-owners create an exposure? If so, why couldn't we change the locks, issue a cease-and-desist to the neighbors, post no-trespassing signs, or have all parties with access sign a waiver of liability? It's pretty much impossible to prevent unauthorized access. The oil company has access, but even if we have them change the combinations on their locks, half the county will know what they are within a week.
Any information/advice would be greatly appreciated.