New Liability Insurance for Prescribed Fire

Image of prescribed fire line. Affordable liability insurance could make this sight much more common.

Liability insurance for prescribed fire has been a huge problem for decades. Multiple surveys land managers, contractors and landowners consistently put the lack of affordable liability insurance among the top five barriers to getting more good fire on the ground. The lack of this insurance prevents many forest industry professionals and restoration contractors from offering prescribed burning services. Others avoid offering prescribed burning among their services because the insurance that is available is not affordable. This is especially true for companies that would likely only conduct a very small number of burns each year.

A new insurance carrier entered the market making coverage available to qualified practitioners across the United States (except: CA, OR & WA). Effective January 1, 2023, Forest Specialty Underwriters, Ltd. along with Lloyds of London, is offering liability insurance coverage for those who plan or conduct prescribed burns. This coverage is available to qualified burners regardless of whether prescribed fire is a focus of your business or you only burn occasionally.

Potential Liability Insurance Applicants:

  • Prescribed Fire Contractors
  • Environmental Consultants
  • Wildfire Resource Consultants
  • Landscape Contractors and Engineers
  • Private Natural Resource Managers including Ecologists, Foresters and Wildlife Biologists
  • State & Federal Agencies involved in Fire Management
  • Municipal & County Natural Resource Managers
  • Non – profit Natural Resource Management Organizations
  • RFD & VFD Personnel
  • Fire Protection Organizations and RxFire Associations, Councils and Cooperatives
  • Forest Preserve Districts
  • Some Prescribed Fire Associations
  • Forestry Consultants
  • Timber Buyers
  • Logging

Coverage limits include $10,000 per day $100,000 total for fire suppression costs and $1,000,000 for overall liability.


Forest Specialty Underwriters. Ltd.
phone: (877) 295-8086

2 thoughts on “New Liability Insurance for Prescribed Fire

  1. Michael P Hill
    Michael P Hill says:

    Curious about coverage for small property owners who manage there property with small area burns and pile burning.

    1. conser36_wp

      Check your property insurance policy. Most homeowners and farm/ranch policies do not have an exclusion for “prescribed fire” or”hostile fire.” In most cases, absent an exclusion, fire is a covered hazard. So, you are unlikely to ever see prescribed fire singled out as a specially covered hazard in the same way you would not find lightning or forest fire or prairie fire or range fire or electrical fire specified as being covered. Neither would you see cow kicked over the lantern as a specifically spelled out covered hazard. Pretty much any kind of fire is covered unless there is an exclusion. If you still have a question, ask your insurance agent … before you burn.

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