Am I required to list all of my properties on the application?

For each category of property you choose to insure (conservation easement, trail easement, fee land etc.), you must list every parcel. Failure to do so prevents Terrafirma from accurately determining how much your insurance should cost, and it could cause problems later on when you submit a claim.

What are the rules for counting properties for the Terrafirma application?

Counting is important. Terrafirma calculates premiums based on the total number of parcels listed in the application. The more parcels, the higher the total premium, so it pays to count carefully.

Generally speaking, every deed for property ensured by the land trust counts as one parcel, regardless of contiguity. Exceptions are as follows:

1. If the landowner exercises a property division right, the subdivision counts as a separate parcel and must be listed separately. If the subdivision does not have a separate owner, it does not need to be listed separately. An example of this would be a landowner who deeds part of a property to himself as the sole owner of an LLC.

2. If you legally merge separate easements into one deed with one property owner, they now count as one parcel even if they were not one parcel before. This is true even if the underlying property is not contiguous.

3. Fee-owned land comprised of multiple deeded properties counts as one parcel if the deeded properties satisfy both of the following conditions:

a. Each deeded property has the same owner. The owner is usually your land trust but could be a partnership of your land trust and another organization.
b. The combined parcel forms a contiguous conservation reserve operated as a single unit.

4. Roads, rivers, railroads, and lakes do not interrupt contiguity.

5. You may count multiple deeded conservation easements as one parcel if they satisfy all of the following conditions:

a. The same land trust or the same set of co-holders holds each conservation easement.
b. The same landowner owns all underlying property.
c. The land covered by the conservation easements is contiguous.
d. Each conservation easement is substantively identical in terms of restrictions and permitted uses. This does not mean that the language of each easement must be identical. Rather, it means the conservation values must be similar such that the property can be conserved as a single unit.

Why must properties with different owners be listed separately?    

Properties under separate easements may only be combined into one parcel if they have the same owner, are contiguous and have the same conservation values. Properties under one easement must have one owner. This is because the more the easement is spread across separately owned parcels, the greater the risk of a lawsuit. Terrafirma spreads the risk by charging additional premiums based on the number of separate landowners. This practice is based on historical observation and verified actuarial data showing significantly more risk.

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