Skip to main content

Hunting Season and Potential Liabilities

By October 17, 2019April 2nd, 2020Farm Insurance

By Ross Turner

I love this time of year for many reasons! Some of my best memories include the hunting trips that my Dad would take me on throughout the state of South Carolina.  I remember my first dove shoot in Fork Shoals. I was 6 years old and I begged my dad to let me shoot the shotgun at the dove on the power line. After missing and picking myself up off the ground, I was done (at least for a while). I was scared to pull the trigger on a BB gun after that.

Back then, we had two hunting dogs. One was a pointer named Happy, and the other was an English Setter named China Berry (named because she almost died after eating china berries as a pup). We would load up on Sunday after church and go from farm to farm around Fork Shoals to hunt wild quail. Every farm owner would tell Dad where the coveys were, and we had a great time hunting together.

Once the quail population almost became extinct, I switched to deer hunting. Despite the great times with my friends, my biggest enjoyment was taking my son, Clay, with me.  Occasionally my daughters would join me… when it fit their schedules. When Clay was young, I loved taking his friends and their fathers to introduce them to hunting. I still believe that being outdoors, away from cell phones and video games, is one of the best ways to spend time with your kids. I am fortunate that both my parents grew up on farms because it gave me many opportunities to hunt in the upstate and the low country.

Times have changed, and with so many hunting properties, leases, and ATV’s that go along with hunting, there is a lot more exposure to think about.  Here are our recommendations to protect your assets:

Liability Coverage for Hunters

Whether a person hunts for free on a family farm, pays a daily fee to a farmer for the privilege, or leases acreage for the season or year-round, the homeowner’s policy generally provides liability coverage for hunting activities. However, if you lease the land and are responsible for upkeep of the land or any buildings on it, liability coverage for incidents arising out of a condition of the land or the buildings is not provided unless the location is added to the current homeowner’s policy.

The exposures faced by individuals who lease or purchase land for hunting purposes (either individually or as a group) are significant. The standard homeowner’s policy provides some coverage, but significant gaps exist. Remember that even if you have an umbrella policy, you could have a gap in coverage because if a risk is excluded on your primary policy, it is likely to be excluded on your umbrella policy.

If you are leasing land for hunting purposes, read your lease carefully. Determine what you are responsible for. If there is a “hold harmless agreement” in the lease, most companies will not pick up liability coverage for the landowner. The landowner must have his own coverage.

Our recommendation for landowners or hunters who are leasing property is to go through Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) for coverage. They offer great rates and comprehensive coverage, along with a simple application process. Click here for more information.

ATV Coverage

If you are transporting your ATV or golf cart to use while hunting, we highly recommend you obtain a separate ATV or golf cart policy. In fact, we recommend a separate policy in most any scenario if you own an ATV or golf cart. If you have added a gun rack or customized your ATV, you want to be sure you have insured the ATV for its true value and added it to your umbrella policy. These policies can average from $100-$250 per year.


On many homeowner’s policies, there is a maximum of only $2500 theft coverage for guns if they are not endorsed to the policy. In addition, if your guns are not endorsed, you may have to prove the weapons have been stolen. We highly recommend that you schedule (endorse) your guns to your homeowner’s policy. Scheduled guns have coverage for mysterious disappearance, theft, and have replacement or actual cash value.

If you have any questions about coverage, call our Personal Lines team today at 864-288-9513 or email us for more information.

[Note:  The photo on the home page with this article is of me in my Grandfather’s truck with his favorite hunting dog, Dan.]

The Turner Agency, Inc. is a local Trusted Choice® independent insurance agency located in Greenville, South Carolina and in Clemson, South Carolina. Serving the Upstate of South Carolina and beyond since 1962, we offer a variety of personal and business coverage choices and can customize an insurance plan to meet your specialized needs for homes, automobiles, recreational vehicles, secondary homes, and your business. Contact The Turner Agency today.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources and is not all inclusive regarding the subject matter. This content is offered for educational purposes only.