With all the cold, wet weather in the surrounding area as of late, more people are thinking about buying a space heater and umbrella rather than a tee time. But with some warm weather approaching people will be flocking to the local courses to embrace the wonderful game. Whether you are a course owner, manager, or just curious about what goes on behind the scenes, here are a few unique risks that golf courses are exposed to.

Property Damage and Loss

Suitable property coverage is the most important aspect to have covered under insurance. Property insurance covers a range of potential issues including protection from fires, theft, and vandalism. Losing the clubhouse to a fire would be very pricey. Not only do you lose the building but you also would fall victim to business interruption. Business interruption occurs when a business losses income due to a disaster. Ensuring you have business interruption coverage on your golf insurance coverage is highly important. If a disaster strikes you want the income loss to be covered due to the loss of golfers being unable to play without a clubhouse. Having property insurance to cover the loss or damage to property allows protection of the short and long term revenues.

Storm Damage and Flooding

Flood coverage is especially prevalent this year as, unlike last summer, we have surpassed the average expected rainfall for the month of May. The heavy rainfall has supersaturated many greens and fairways causing flooding to occur at low lying parts of golf courses. This flooding has caused golf course owners to shut down operations to avoid further damage from golfers playing on the soggy ground. This loss of revenue is painful enough for business owners, let alone paying to fix the damages the flooding has caused. That is where flood coverage comes into play. Since flood insurance coverage is independent of property insurance, business owners would be left alone with a closed course and unforeseen damage due to flooding. Having adequate storm and flood coverage anticipating harsh rainfall is crucial for golf course owners to recover the course to the way it should be.

Employee and Injury Claims

All businesses face the risk of claims put forth by an employee. Just like any business, golf courses are vulnerable to being sued by an employee or someone who becomes injured while on the course. But the risk of injury on a golf course is unlike many other businesses because of the various ways injury could occur. Rouge golf balls can always be a threat to injury people or damage property. Golfers driving golf carts have a high risk of injury if the carts are not handled with care. Having proper liability insurance provides protection from potential claims from an employee or third party.

Equipment and Asset Protection

In order to operate effectively, golf courses need to have a large number of operating vehicles including golf carts, lawnmowers, green groomers, and many other machines. The risk exposure of damage to the equipment is very high at a golf course due to accidents caused by golfers on the course as well as the hazard of fire and vandalism. Replacement cost coverage is a necessity on both golf carts and maintenance equipment to decrease the financial impact if a problem occurs.

row of golf carts

Hole In One Protection

You may not be the owner or manager of a golf course, but if you are looking to sponsor a Par 3 hole at an upcoming golf tournament with a cash prize for a hole-in-one you may want to insure the hole. Hole-in-one insurance offers companies and individuals the chance to sponsor a hole, without having to pay the entire cash prize should a hole-in-one actually occur. Although hole-in-ones happen very rarely, safeguarding against not having to pay the $1,000,000 cash prize is never a bad idea.

When it comes to insurance, keep the holes on the course, not in your coverage. Because unfortunately, mulligans can be played on the course, but not in insurance claims. Visit our golf course insurance page to learn more or contact a McDougall Insurance broker to make sure you have the suitable coverage for your course or event.


COVID-19 Update

We are doing our utmost to protect our customers and our staff. The Ontario Government declared a state of emergency. As a result, we have closed our offices to the public. Business must be conducted online, through email or over the phone. For a list of staff emails go to: Staff Profiles