Running a golf course brings some unique risks and specialty golf course insurance can help mitigate these potential costs. For example, mis-hit golf balls can easily damage property, such as vehicles or equipment, or even injure players or spectators.
How can golf course insurance protect you?
Use the yellow hot spots and explore how golf course insurance can help protect against common risks.
Tee and Green
The surfaces, tees and greens are susceptible to storm damage, vandalism and other risks.
Make certain your policy contains tee and green coverage and includes the wording "all playing surfaces." Seek a high limit of coverage ($1,000,000 or more) and make certain there is no per hole limitation.
As exposed by Superstorm Sandy and other significant weather events in recent years, flooding can occur in almost any location and to any business. Are you protected?
Flood insurance is not part of any property or liability policy. It is a standalone policy that reacts independently from all other coverage. Whether or not your course is (or is not) in a designated flood zone, consider coverage in anticipation of an unforeseen weather event.
Your course's rolling slopes of emerald green are not a product of nature alone. The chemicals used to keep the grass lush create exposures for pollution that can often be overlooked.
There may be a need to protect against tank leakage and other pollution. Look for a complete environmental insurance policy to address all of your exposures, beyond just the normal herbicide and pesticide coverage for over spraying.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) / Directors and Officers (D&O)
On average, it's estimated that three out of five businesses will be sued by their employees. Golf courses, just like any other business, are vulnerable from the pre-hire process through to a possible reduction in workforce. Claims can stem from just about anything, such as someone taking a joke the wrong way and being offended. In addition, key personnel (such as directors, officers and other board members) may be at increased risk resulting from possible discrimination, slander and more.
Seek the broadest policies available with the highest rated carriers and have separate limits for both employment practices liability and directors and officers liability. Review all of your liability policies, as gaps or overlaps may occur with third-party discrimination coverage, fiduciary liability coverage and commercial general liability.
Providing a valet service is convenient for your guests, but damaging a vehicle or property, or causing injury, is a very real risk associated with it.
Obtain a general liability policy to protect your business from lawsuits by a third party. Be certain that a garage keepers legal liability policy is also in effect with adequate limits to cover any physical damage to a guest's vehicle or other vehicles on site. If you are using an independent valet service, obtain a certificate of insurance to verify they have the proper coverage with adequate limits. Also make sure that your business is named as an additional insured under their policy.
Just about all businesses rely on technology in some way. It's increasingly used to store sensitive information, such as credit cards, passwords and social security numbers. However, you're at risk if this information is lost, stolen or compromised. In fact, you may even be legally obligated to alert those impacted by the breach and possibly pay for any financial loss incurred.
Experiencing a data breach is often not a question of if but when. Securing a cyber liability policy can offer coverage for expenses associated with compliance regarding data breach notification laws, securing legal counsel to advise on incident response, credit monitoring services and paying for regulatory defense and penalties arising from privacy law violations.
Golf Carts and Major Maintenance Equipment
You have considerable exposure to damage or loss of golf carts and maintenance equipment caused by accidents on the course or by normal perils of fire and vandalism.
Obtain replacement cost coverage on both the carts and maintenance equipment, as having this protection will lessen the overall financial impact of depreciation.
Business Interruption Coverage
Adequate property coverage is a crucial component of your insurance portfolio. If you lose the clubhouse, you could potentially have a multi-million dollar loss with business interruption and loss of income, including loss of existing golfers as well as potential new golfers.
Make sure your short- and long-term revenues are properly protected. Property limits should meet or exceed the club's most recent building appraisals. In addition to the limits assigned to the structure itself, consider business income coverage to cover anticipated revenue loss from the normal day-to-day club operations. Also, include other income generating events such as weddings, special golf outings and other events arranged with outside organizations.
You also need to consider the equipment and systems that keep the course running (such as sprinkler systems,) the risks of pests and diseases that could damage your course, and even the potential damage and disruption if extreme weather knocks down trees. You need to consider not just the cost of repairing damage, but also the lost income if the course is temporarily unplayable.
If you serve alcohol at the course, you’ll need liquor liability insurance. This covers you against claims for damage caused by people who became intoxicated on your premises; this can include physical conflict, drunk-driving and property damage.
Most golf course insurance companies also offer standard business insurance elements as well. These cover risks to your buildings and equipment, claims relating to your staff’s health and employment issues and any liability you have for injury and damage suffered by visitors.
Don’t take unnecessary risks. Contact us today to get the insurance you need for your golf course.