Owning a golf course or being a golf instructor has many benefits – you get to work in a picturesque environment, experience players improving their form over time and maybe even host a tournament. But most importantly, you’re probably passionate about the game and love what you do!
But as with any business, there are challenges as well. You may have to deal with members mishandling your expensive equipment, experience extreme weather conditions on your course, and encounter golf-related injuries.
Golf businesses also need to ensure they’re covered for professional liability – while owners and instructors aren’t typically liable for accidents caused by a poorly played game, they can be liable should they not provide a service as promised.
Thankfully, protecting your course with Golf Insurance isn’t as difficult as breaking par. At Zensurance, it’s our mission to make commercial insurance as accessible as possible. We’ve helped more than 100,000 entrepreneurs protect their businesses with insurance policies that are designed to cover their needs. Here are the basics of what you should know about Golf Course Insurance.
Golf course insurance policy packages are specially designed to protect golf course owners and golf instructors against professional and general risks specific to operating a golf business. This includes coverage for third-party injuries, property damage, equipment protection and lawsuits of alleged negligence.
Golf liability insurance groups together several insurance policies to provide comprehensive coverage for your golf course. Typically, it will include the following policies:
- Commercial General Liability Insurance: Also known as “slip-and-fall insurance,” CGL protects you against the day-to-day risks that can happen while you have members on your golf course or in the club facilities. CGL will generally cover medical fees and legal expenses for third-party bodily injury or property damage – regardless of the lawsuit’s outcome.
- Commercial Property Insurance: Commercial Property Insurance protects your golf business equipment (i.e. golf carts) and general business-related contents from specific risks that occur beyond your control, such as a fire, theft, flood or vandalism. For example, an electrical malfunction in one of your golf simulators caused a fire in the clubhouse; Commercial Property Insurance could cover the cost to repair the damages.
- Professional Liability Insurance: This policy is essential for businesses that provide golf services which can cover the cost for lawsuit claims that allege misconduct, negligence, or failure to deliver a service as advertised. For example, if a student feels that their golf instructor’s lessons didn’t have the expected results, they could sue for dissatisfaction.
- Product Liability Insurance: Product liability protects your business against claims alleging third-party property damage or bodily injury caused by a product you manufacture, distribute, or sell, including golf clubs and apparel for sale. Covered damages are generally the result of a defective product, such as an incorrect label, a missing or loose piece, or a lack of safety warnings.
- Cyber Liability Insurance: This coverage provides financial reimbursement for insured events such as data breaches and other cyber events that involve your technology systems and data. Suppose your tee time booking system was hacked, revealing all of your club members’ credit card information. Having Cyber Liability Insurance could cover the cost of damages, defence costs and other related costs from the incident.
A golf liability insurance policy is essential for golf courses or driving range owners who oversee the operations of a golf facility. Insurance coverage is also crucial for independent golf instructors that may provide their services across several clubs.
We’ve insured 1000s of businesses in the golf industry, including:
- Public Golf Courses
- Country Clubs – Private Courses
- Golf Instructors
- Driving Range
- Miniature Golf (Mini-Putt)
- Indoor Golf Simulators
- Golf Tournaments
You might own an 18-hole golf course or a small driving range – these two scenarios would require very different coverages, which is why golf business insurance costs will vary by each case.
Here are some of the main factors we take into consideration to determine your insurance premium:
- Operation size
- Equipment Owned
- Past claims
- Number of employees
Get a free golf liability insurance quote by starting our online application form. We will ask you some questions about your business that will help us to determine the best coverage at the lowest price.
Here, we’ve gone into detail on the coverages needed for golf course owners vs. professional golf instructors.
If you own a golf course, it’s crucial that you have comprehensive coverage that covers your grounds and the facilities on the property, such as locker rooms and your clubhouse. You also need to consider coverage for your employees and know about the general business liability risks that come with owning a golf course.
As standard, you should have a Commercial General Liability Insurance policy to cover the day-to-day risks you may be liable for due to owning a golf course. Some examples are if a member slipped and fell on a spilt drink in your clubhouse and injured themselves, or an employee in a golf cart accidentally ran over a member’s expensive club set, damaging their clubs.
You’ll also need Commercial Property Insurance – this protects your business from specific insured risks that occur beyond your control, such as a fire, theft, flood or vandalism. Say a fire broke out in the clubhouse after hours. This insurance may provide reimbursement to replace or repair damaged equipment.
If you host golf tournaments at your course, then you should also have Event Liability Insurance. This particular coverage is designed to protect your business from any third-party property damage, injury or other claims you may be liable for during the course of the golf event. For example, you’re hosting a golf tournament, and one of the participants broke their ankle from an unfinished hazard area by one of your groundskeepers. Event Liability Insurance could cover the costs if the players end up suing your business for their injury.
Suppose you sell golf equipment at your pro shop. In that case, it’s good to have Product Liability Insurance as this provides coverage for injuries or property damage caused by defective products you sell or distribute. For example, a member buys a golf club from your store; they injure themselves badly when it snapped after the first swing. The member could sue for bodily injury, and Product Liability Insurance could provide monetary coverage.
Finally, you likely use a booking system to store members’ data – it’s your legal obligation to protect their information. Make sure you have Cyber Insurance covering costs like legal fees associated with cyber incidents (like a cyber hack) involving your technology systems and data. Say that confidential membership data is breached, and the hacker is holding this information as ransom. Cyber Liability Insurance could cover the cost of the ransom, the cost to notify customers of the breach and any other fees required to restore data.
• Commercial General Liability Insurance
• Commercial Property Insurance
• Event Liability Insurance
• Product Liability Insurance
• Cyber Liability Insurance
As an independent golf instructor, you likely offer your coaching at several courses and ranges. This means you’re unlikely to be covered by the golf course’s insurance policy. In this case, you should ensure you have your own Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL) policy. This covers the general risks you may face as an instructor. For example, say you’re demonstrating to a client how to hit a golf ball and accidentally hit their private golf cart with your swing, denting its siding. The client could sue you for property damage.
As you’re providing a professional service, you’ll also need to ensure you have Professional Liability Insurance. This is different from CGL as it allows for coverage for lawsuit claims alleging misconduct, negligence, or failure to deliver a service as advertised. Say an amateur golfer hired you to train them to qualify for an upcoming competitive golf tournament, and you say you believe they can do so with a couple of your swing adjustment lessons. If they’re unable to advance their skills in time based on your coaching, they could sue. In this case, even if they don’t win the lawsuit, you could be covered for legal fees and any other related costs.
• Commercial General Liability Insurance
• Professional Liability Insurance