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 and under the same
written land management plan.

4. Roads (private or public), rivers, railroads, access easements and driveways do not interrupt contiguity. Fee-owned properties whose boundary corners touch each other do not interrupt contiguity. Different title companies on different parcels do not interrupt contiguity. Bodies of water (ex., streams, creeks, ditches and other human-made structures, rivers, ponds and lakes) do not interrupt contiguity except for those water bodies that establish government jurisditctional boundaries (such as borders between municipalities, counties, states and countries). School, zoning, tax, and conservation districts are not considered in this contiguity assessment. Islands in bodies of water can be counted as a single property with the continuation of the mainland parcel.

5. For fee-owned land only, if any parcel is non-contiguous regardless of acquisition in one deed or multiple deeds then it counts as a separate parcel and separate premium.

6. 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. 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.

If multiple deeded conservation easements or fee-owned parcels can be counted as one, please add up the cumulative acreage when you insure that parcel and list that in your policy. To ensure you remember which individual parcels make up an insured parcel under your policy, Terrafirma recommends that you utilize a unique Parcel ID and/or Parcel Name that identifies all individual parcels making up that insured parcel. If you acquire either an additional conservation easement or fee-owned parcel and can add it to an already insured parcel in your policy per the above rules, please update the acreage in your policy to reflect the new cumulative acreage (and Parcel ID and Parcel Name if that has also changed).  

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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