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For property developers and solicitors requiring a bespoke legal indemnity policy. If you are buying or selling your property only, for continued use, please contact your conveyancing solicitor.

If you’re developing a property, or a number of properties, the discovery of a lack of legal access could put an expensive halt to your plans.

You may not be able to access existing services in a neighbouring property, or even reach your land by foot or car.

This is where an Absence of Easement Indemnity policy comes in. If you need to defend the continued use of existing access ways or services, an Absence of Easement policy can cover the costs, giving you with vital financial protection.

What is an Easement?

An Easement is a type of right that one person has over the land of another. It generally concerns access, which could be a right of way or the right to cross land. It can also apply to the ability to put down new services or use existing ones that lay in or go through a third party’s property. For instance, gas and electricity supply. 

If an Easement is in place, it gives you the right to use someone else’s land or property for a specific reason. For example, to gain access to your property via vehicle or foot, to carry out maintenance, or use services that run through someone’s land. 

It doesn’t mean that you can access the land exclusively.

What does Absence of Easement mean?

It can be a little tricky to get your head around the Absence of Easement meaning.

It essentially means that a right to access is not legally documented, such as on the property’s deeds. This can cause difficulties for developers further down the line.

For instance, you buy a plot of land to develop but a search reveals that the road offering access to it is not publicly owned. This means that you need specific rights in order to use that roadway. In an Absence of Easement situation, these rights are not registered, which could mean that the owner of the road blocks your access.

What does an Absence of Easement Indemnity policy cover?

An Absence of Easement Indemnity policy comes into play where there's no legal right of way to gain access to a property (by vehicle or on foot), or no legal right to use the services running through or over someone else's land.

It therefore covers the financial cost of defending the continued use of existing access ways and services. It can also cover the cost of any damages or compensation arising from an Absence of Easement.

Why is Absence of Easement Legal Indemnity Insurance necessary?

It is not legally necessary, but Absence of Easement Legal Indemnity Insurance is a good idea because the legal costs of defending access can be very expensive. 

An Absence of Easement can also prevent you from selling your development once it is complete, or result in you selling it for less than the amount you expected. 

Who can take out Absence of Easement Legal Indemnity Insurance?

Absence of Easement Legal Indemnity Insurance can be taken out by landowners and developers to cover:

  • Residential and commercial properties
  • Land with or without planning permission
  • Land or property that doesn’t have a documented legal right for access via car and/or on foot

It is particularly helpful for developers who are constructing multiple properties on a single site, as the risks are higher.

What is not covered in an Absence of Easement Legal Indemnity Insurance policy?

Your Absence of Easement policy will not financially protect you in the following situations:

  • If you interfere with anyone else’s use of an access way or service.
  • If maintenance or repairs are needed.
  • You have a restriction linked to the Road Traffic Act 1988. This Act prohibits driving on bridleways, common land and footpaths.
What information do I need to provide for an Absence of Easement Indemnity policy quote? 

To get an Absence of Easement Indemnity policy quote, we’ll need to receive the following:

  • Official Title Register and plan.
  • A plan of the property edged in red and the access way shaded in blue (this can be hand drawn). This must show the land (access) in relation to the property or where the services adjoin neighbouring properties (where cover is required over/through).
  • A Statutory Declaration or Statement of Truth from the current owners confirming that the access use has been unchallenged during their period of ownership. 
  • Planning permission (if obtained).
  • Full objection(s) correspondence raised at planning.
  • Any details of conversations you have had with third parties about the Absence of Easement risks.

To get your quote started now, download the Quotation Form.

How much does Absence of Easement Indemnity Insurance cost?

The cost of an Absence of Easement Indemnity Insurance policy varies with each property. Insurers need to know if the land accessing the property is unregistered as well as reviewing the title documents of your property and surrounding properties.

You can find out more by getting in touch with our team.

Talk to One Indemnity about Absence of Easement Insurance

If you would like to learn more and get an Absence of Easement Indemnity policy quote, you can download our form or give us a call today. Simply ring James Skilleter on 01603 218232.