Never think that your golf course is free from exposures. Even if everything is carefully managed, undesirable events can still happen.
Insurance can help cover costs. And if you’re hesitating to get insured right now, then here are some examples that might change your mind:
A Kingston country club had to pay $5 million after a family sued for property damage because their house was constantly damaged by golf balls
In Westchester, a golf course had to pay $1.6 million after an attendee was struck by a golf cart
The best protection is golf course insurance. This covers defense costs and remunerations if your golf course is liable for the losses or injuries of third parties. This even allows you to protect hired trainers who don’t have golf instructor insurance.
Golf clubs that your golf course owns or sells can get vandalized or stolen. Golf course insurance can also act as a golf clubs insurance that will take care of repair or replacement expenses.
These things are what golf course insurance does in a nutshell. But there’s more you need to learn. And so, read this guide to further know what golf course insurance is, how it works, how much it costs, and the best companies.
Golf course insurance is a tailored coverage consisting of general liability, workers compensation, commercial auto, commercial property, and other business insurance policies.
Insurance companies will offer golf course insurance if you own any of the following:
Public golf course
Semi-private golf course
As we emphasized earlier, golf course insurance is composed of many types of different business insurance policies. But one that’s always offered in golf course insurance programs is general liability insurance.
A person who gets hurt within the premises of your golf course can sue to get compensation for his injuries. Of course, your golf course can’t do anything but pay if it’s liable.
The job of general liability insurance is to provide protection in such situations. Particularly, it will cover the cost of personal injury claims or property damage claims filed by third parties. Here’s how general liability insurance works:
Pay for the cost of medical treatment and compensation for pain and suffering if your golf course is liable for the injuries of a third party
Help your golf course provide refunds if it’s responsible for the damaged property of third parties
Cover legal defense costs
Golf course liability insurance is a very effective deterrent against the cost of any setbacks where third parties can sustain injuries or property damage. Here are some examples:
Your defective golf cart injures the driver
A golf cart hits a person while an employee or another client is driving it
Errant balls hitting someone
Slip and fall accidents due to poorly maintained business premises
Injuries or property damage caused by golf clubs, tees, and other equipment that lacks maintenance
You must remember that general liability insurance only caters to claims filed by the attendees, visitors, vendors, and other individuals who are not officially part of your golf course’s day-to-day operations.
And so, any claims filed by your employees, partners, and volunteers aren’t covered by the policy.
Since we’re clear on how the insurance works and who it protects you against, let’s talk about how much coverage you can get.
General liability insurance for golf courses has a $1-$2 million per occurrence limit.
The aggregate limit, on the other hand, is $2 million.
But since it’s possible to face more costly lawsuits, there are insurance companies that sell general liability insurance for golf courses providing $3 million, $5 million, and even $15 million coverage.
Most insurance companies allow you to enhance the coverage of your general liability policy by adding optional policies to its terms.
Optional policies allow general liability insurance to cover exposures aside from personal injury claims and property damage claims. Namely, these are:
Advertising injury coverage-Covers costs if someone sues your golf course for slander, libel, copyright infringement, and invasion of privacy
Rented premises liability coverage-Rented premises liability coverage will help cover the resulting expenses if a building or commercial space that was rented or leased to you is damaged by fire
Products and completed operations coverage-Products and completed operations coverage covers settlements, attorney fees, and other related expenses if the services of your golf course caused personal injury or property damage
Your golf course insurance will also offer a professional liability policy. This is useful if your golf course provides golf training.
Professional liability insurance kicks in when an instructor commits negligence that results in injuries or property damage that cause the financial or economic loss of the concerned party.
By using this insurance, you can cover attorney fees, settlements, administrative costs, and other expenses associated with the lawsuit.
But note that negligence isn’t the only peril covered by professional liability insurance. It provides protection when any of the following is committed in the course of providing a service:
Violation of good faith
Violation of fair dealing
Breach of confidentiality
Professional liability insurance for golf courses is usually underwritten on a claims-made basis. Claims-made professional liability insurance only provides coverage if you file a report to the insurance company at the time a claim is filed. Also, you can’t use it when it has expired.
So how much insurance money can you get from professional liability insurance? Professional liability insurance for golf courses has a $1 million per occurrence limit and a $2 million aggregate limit.
Umbrella liability insurance supplements the funds of your general liability and professional liability insurance.
In a nutshell, this golf course insurance coverage provides additional funds when your professional liability or general liability has exhausted its limit or when either can’t fully cover a claim.
For example, if someone sues and demands your golf course to pay $2 million then general liability insurance only has $1 million, umbrella liability insurance will cover the excess.
In the same way, umbrella liability insurance allows general liability insurance to fully cover a claim filed against your golf course even if it doesn't have funds anymore.
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Protect yourself against the cost of business property damage as it’s always problematic if not devastating. Take note of these examples:
A golf course in Michigan had its building damaged by a fire. About $1 million worth of equipment was damaged
In Washington, a golf course sustained substantial damages due to a fire and incurred a $110,000 contents and property damage loss
Commercial property insurance covers your golf course’s tangible assets. Its primary function is to cover the clubhouse and other buildings. Here’s how commercial property insurance works:
Recover losses if the structures of your golf course’s clubhouse and other buildings sustain damage
Provide reimbursements when your golf course’s clubhouse and other buildings are destroyed
You can only use this golf course insurance coverage to recover losses if damage or loss of your golf course’s property is caused by any of these perils:
Sprinkler leakage and burst pipes
Note that golf course commercial property insurance comes with several optional add-ons. Get the following to protect not only buildings but also business equipment, installations, and other properties:
Tree coverage-Tree coverage covers the cost of debris removal and tree replacement if the trees in your golf course fell due to winds, hail, snow, and other covered perils
Tee-to-green coverage-Recovers losses if teeing grounds, fairways, and putting greens sustain damage. Coverage may also apply to directional signs, sprinklers, ball washers, and other installments on the golf course
Equipment breakdown coverage-Cover repair or replacement expenses if golfing equipment sustains defects due to user error, malicious mischief, electrical surge, impact, and other covered perils
Golf cart coverage-Reimburses the original market value or the depreciated market value of any covered golf cart owned by your golf course, which got lost or damaged due to the above-mentioned perils
Let’s talk about the limits of the optional policies available in the commercial property insurance for golf courses.
Tee-to-green coverage has a $500,000-$2 million policy limit, depending on the insurance company you decide to work with. As for tree coverage, it provides up to $250,000. Finally, equipment breakdown coverage has a $10,000-$15,000 limit.
Some golfers will leave their equipment in your custody. It’s your responsibility if such equipment becomes damaged or lost due to fire, theft, vandalism, employee error, and other covered perils. You need to indemnify the losses of the owners.
Voluntary property damage insurance helps you sort things out without incurring losses. It gives a minimum of $25,000 you can use to compensate the losses of third parties whose property got lost or damaged while in your custody.
Accidents can’t only hurt third parties but also those working for your golf course.
As mandated by law, your golf course must compensate employees who sustained injuries or disease because of work. You can add workers' compensation insurance to your golf course insurance plan to cover this responsibility.
Workers' compensation insurance covers any employee who sustains a work-related injury or disease by paying for:
Medical expenses-Your golf course can use workers' compensation insurance to cover ambulance fees, emergency room fees, and other related expenses if an employee needs to be rushed to the hospital after sustaining a work-related injury or disease
Hospitalization-Workers compensation insurance covers hospital bills if your employee needs to stay in the hospital
Medical expenses-Workers compensation insurance provides financial help if your golf course’s employee needs medicines for a work-related injury or disease
Rehabilitation-If the employee of your golf course becomes impaired, workers compensation insurance can be used to cover rehabilitation costs such as therapist and equipment fees
Compensation for lost income-Workers compensation insurance covers lost wages if your employee can’t work due to a work-related injury or disease. Compensation for lost wages is a weekly allowance equal to two-thirds or 67% of the average weekly wage
Death benefits-Your golf course can use workers' compensation insurance to cover funeral expenses and provide financial aid to dependents if the employee dies due to a work-related injury or disease
So how long does workers' compensation insurance last? This insurance provides money until the duration or amount of coverage mandated by workers comp law or labor law is satisfied. But on average, workers' compensation insurance only helps an employee for 3-7 years.
When do you purchase workers' compensation insurance for your golf course? Workers' compensation insurance is required as soon as you have employees or when your golf course generates a specific amount of revenue.
It’s true that workers' compensation insurance is expensive. But paying for it is more desirable than facing the underlying problems if authorities found out that your golf course isn’t covered. Here are some examples:
Kansas-Workers compensation insurance is required if a golf course has $20,000 in revenue. Failure to purchase the policy is punishable by $25,000 or a fine twice the amount of the annual premiums for workers' compensation insurance
Minnesota-Golf courses without workers' compensation insurance face a $1,000 fine per week for each uninsured employee
Florida-Golf courses in Florida that don’t cover employees with workers' compensation insurance pay a fine twice the amount of annual premiums
California-Failure to get workers' compensation insurance in California is a misdemeanor punishable by a $10,000 fine. It’s also possible for the owner to be criminally liable and face 1-year imprisonment
You must understand that workers' compensation insurance only covers full-time employees, part-time employees, and contractors. The policy doesn’t cover volunteers and unpaid interns.
Another important thing to mention is that workers' compensation insurance prevents an employee from suing for negligence if your golf course is in a state that adopts the legal principle of “employer exclusive remedy”.
Employer’s liability insurance is offered as a stand-alone policy or as an optional coverage to workers' compensation insurance.
When an employee sues for negligence after sustaining a work-related injury or disease, employer’s liability insurance steps in to cover settlements, attorney fees, administrative costs, and other related expenses.
Employer’s liability insurance has a $1-$2 million per occurrence limit. Its aggregate limit is set at $2 million.
Employment practices liability insurance covers attorney fees, settlements, judgments, and other related expenses if an employee sues your golf course for sexual harassment, wrongful termination, discrimination, and other violations of employee rights.
Abuse and molestation insurance covers settlements, attorney fees, administrative costs, and other related expenses if your golf course’s employee sexually harassed, abused, or molested someone within the premises of your golf course.
Fidelity bond covers costs if an employee commits fraud, theft, and forgery against a client or any other third party. This covers the resulting expenses needed to cover legal defense as well as the compensation for the losses of the concerned party.
A van, bus, or any other commercial vehicle under your golf course’s name can cause accidents and sustain damage. That’s why it’s smart to get commercial auto insurance. Commercial auto insurance provides the following types of coverage:
Auto liability coverage-Auto liability coverage covers medical treatments and reimbursements if your golf course’s commercial vehicle caused an accident that injured third parties or destroyed properties. It also pays attorney fees, administrative costs, and other legal expenses if someone files a lawsuit
Physical damage coverage-Physical damage coverage takes care of repair or replacement expenses if your golf course’s commercial vehicle sustains damage. You buy this as a collision policy or comprehensive policy. Collision physical damage coverage only covers repair or replacement expenses if your golf course’s commercial vehicle sustained damage after colliding with an object or another vehicle. Comprehensive physical damage coverage takes care of repair or replacement expenses if fire, theft, vandalism, lightning, hail, snow, and other covered perils damaged the commercial vehicle
Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage-Underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage covers the medical treatment of the passengers and the driver if your golf course’s commercial vehicle got involved in an accident caused by a driver who isn’t insured or doesn’t have enough insurance
Medical payments coverage-Medical payments coverage takes care of the driver and the passenger’s hospitalization and treatment if the commercial vehicle caused an accident or got involved in an accident
Personal injury protection-Personal injury protection covers treatment, hospitalization, lost wages, and rehabilitation of the driver and passengers if the commercial vehicle got involved or caused an accident
Rental reimbursement coverage-Rental reimbursement coverage covers rental fees if you need to hire a vehicle because the one that you own is being serviced
Hired/non-owned auto coverage-Covers the resulting expenses of accidents caused by a vehicle you hired or borrowed for business activities. Employee-owned vehicles being used to run errands for your golf course are also covered
Auto liability coverage in commercial auto insurance is a legal requirement. The minimum policy limit you need to have depends on the requirements of the state where your golf course is registered or located.
Also, you must remember that auto liability coverage won’t help your golf course if its commercial vehicle causes an accident because the driver is DUI, running away from police authorities, or other criminal activities.
Commercial auto insurance offers medical payments coverage if your golf course is in a fault state. Personal injury protection is what’s available in a no-fault state.
Rental reimbursement coverage is offered if you include physical damage coverage in commercial auto insurance. Note that physical damage coverage-collision and comprehensive- doesn’t cover aftermarket parts and damage resulting from rollovers.
While the policies above are the most useful for your golf course. The following are other insurance products you’ll find helpful, depending on your golf course’s profile:
Product liability insurance is useful if your golf course has a restaurant, food stand, or any other facility where golfers can get meals and drinks. This covers settlements, attorney fees, administrative costs, and other expenses if someone sues your golf course for food poisoning and improper food preparation.
Directors and officers liability insurance provides protection if a director or officer of your golf course commits wrongful acts and a concerned party files a lawsuit. Expenses covered by this insurance are:
Indemnification to the aggrieved party
Your golf course’s losses
Events insurance is useful if your golf course is hosting a sporting event. This policy covers costs if a participant sustains injuries, rental equipment sustains damage, or when the event is canceled due to rain or missed delivery of key equipment.
Cyber liability insurance is useful if your golf course has a website where golfers can pay their membership, rent equipment, or set a tee time.
If the data of those using your golf course’s website gets leaked due to a cyberattack or employee error, cyber liability insurance helps to wrap things up by covering the following expenses:
Compensation for the losses of concerned third parties
Expect to pay $42 per month or $504 per year for a $1 million general liability coverage. In connection, mini golf course insurance costs $25 per month or $300 per year for a $1 million general liability insurance.
There’s no fixed golf course insurance cost. What you’ll pay can be more expensive or cheaper than the estimates we provided. And so, to get a better idea of your rates, consider comparing golf course insurance quotes. Click the “Get Quotes” button on this page to start.
Factors that affect the cost of premiums are location, business size, revenues, claims history, number of employees, and more. But note that your choice of carrier is one of the deciding factors. Here’s a table showing the rates of the recommended golf course insurance companies:
|Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Best for|
|NEXT||$30||$420||Best overall! Innovative certificate of liability insurance for golf courses|
|CoverWallet||$39||$468||Golf course insurance quotes comparison online|
|Tivly||$41||$492||Comparing golf course insurance quotes over the phone|
|Cincinnati Insurance Companies||$45||$540||Multi-year golf course insurance policies|
|Sentry||$47||$564||Individuals looking for a carrier with a trusty record in insuring golf courses|
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These are the best golf course insurance companies. Read to know their pros, cons, and rate for a $1 million general liability policy.
Best golf course insurance overall
Great customer service and reputation
Fastest GL online
Custom dedicated limits
Get a live certificate of insurance
Country club insurance is underwritten by Tivly
NEXT offers country club insurance in partnership with Tivly. If you want to get covered, NEXT will require you to call its partner.
Best for: Innovative certificate of liability insurance for golf courses
Average cost: $30 per month
Our rating: 9/10
Compare quotes online
Cancel a policy anytime
Name landlords and clients as additional insureds
General liability insurance for golf courses can’t be added with liquor liability coverage
CoverWallet calls its specialized coverage for golf courses “golf and country club insurance”. You can avail it as a general liability only insurance plan, general liability with commercial property insurance, a BOP that bundles general liability, commercial property, and workers, comp insurance; or a custom plan.
Note that CoverWallet is an insurance broker. Therefore, the policies it sells are underwritten by partners. Nonetheless, CoverWallet processes claims. It can also cancel your policy anytime.
Finally, this company has an online quotes comparison platform you can use to find other companies selling tailored coverage for golf courses.
Best for: Golf course insurance quotes comparison online
Average cost: $39 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Compare quotes over the phone
Sells more than 10 types of business insurance for golf courses
You need to call to get a quote
Tivly (formerly CommercialInsurance.NET) sells more than 10 types of business insurance products for golf courses. Note that the company doesn’t sell a premade golf course insurance plan. You have to create one yourself with the help of its representative.
Also, this company sells the policies of its partners. And so, you can easily look for other options. Call Tivly now to compare quotes over the phone.
Best for: Comparing golf course insurance quotes over the phone
Average cost: $41 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Loss control service at no additional charge
High customer satisfaction rating
Offers multi-year policy terms
No claims filing online
Cincinnati sells a golf and country club insurance program. It’s customizable and can provide the protection of commercial property endorsement, golf course tee-to-green coverage, general liability insurance, and errors and omissions insurance.
You can also decide to get other business insurance as optional policies. Examples are commercial auto, umbrella liability, crime, abuse and molestation, and crime insurance.
Best for: Multi-year golf course insurance policies
Average cost: $45 per month
Our rating: 9/10
A partner of renowned golf organizations
Specializes in insuring golf courses
24/7 claims filing online and by phone
Not accredited by BBB
Sentry offers golf course insurance for public courses, semi-public courses, and country clubs. This company’s expertise in underwriting golf course insurance allowed it to become a partner of USGA and First Tee.
Golf course insurance policies you can purchase from Sentry are general liability, professional liability, cyber liability, and commercial property insurance. You can also get equipment breakdown and premises liability insurance as optional add-ons.
Best for: Individuals looking for a carrier with a trusty record in insuring golf courses
Average cost: $47 per month
Our rating: 8/10
Lonnie Bell Insuranker
Policy Type: Business Insurance
Company name: Employers Insurance
Use anyone except Employers. Period. They are non-transparent and shameful. After I complained long enough to warrant a call from a supervisor, the supervisor called back from a PRIVATE NUMBER (no caller ID), left a message that they are not reversing their decision (without any communication with me), and failed to leave a phone number for me to call back. She was hiding! They also fact find via email and phone calls, which is terrific for speed and communication. However, after setting a precedence of email or phone calls, they send time sensitive information via email, without any heads up... they are hoping you miss it and forfeit via expiration. Evil policies. Go elsewhere.
This place is an absolute joke of a company and should be ashamed of the way they conduct business. I was hurt on the job at the end of July and it took them just shy of 7 weeks to issue out a paycheck to me. Yes the amount was back dated but still. Not many have the luxury of not receiving a paycheck for almost 2 months. To top it all off, the original adjuster marked me down for the wrong state which caused a problem from the get go, I've had 3 different adjusters now since each one can't seem to figure out the simplicity of my claim. All my paperwork which includes, my job, house, and drs visits all are from the same state and city but yet some how I have been filed under a completely different state 1500 miles away. They do not answer your phone calls or emails no matter how many you leave. I've had to escalate my frustrations to the supervisors of each of these individuals in order to even get some kind of response. I've had more communication and information given to me about my claim from the customer service representatives then the actual adjusters.......... please tell me how that works?! A serious overhaul needs to happen here in order to serve your clients the way they deserve to be taken care of. 10/10 do not recommend this company to a single soul on earth
I have never had the displeasure of working with a more incompetent and disrespectful person in my life. I’m an injured worker and the adjuster that was assigned to my case was named Carrie Furgeson. In the past 6 weeks that I’ve been injured and out of work I have only been able to get ahold of her twice, not for lack of trying. I have left countless voicemails, countless emails, and she ignores them all. When I am finally able to get ahold of her I’m greeted with terrible customer service. She is rude, she talks over me and I’m hardly able to get a word in edgewise. She spelled my name wrong on my documents even after I spelled it for her properly countless times, this caused a whole new issue with my bank. I have bill collectors from the hospital calling me demanding payment and Carrie Furgeson won’t do a single thing to help, or to get them paid. All of my documentation is in Colorado, my job is in Colorado, my address is in Colorado, all my Dr offices and appointments have been in Colorado and Carrie still managed to hold my claim because she wasn’t sure what state she needed to file it under. It’s been 6 weeks since my Injury and my company still hasn’t received the wage paperwork to fill out so they can get me my correct wages. When she’s not ignoring me she’s answering my questions with “I don’t know” well I don’t know how she got this job, because apparently she doesn’t know anything about it. She is a disgusting morose individual inside and out and I genuinely wish her the worst in all of her future endeavors. I highly recommend you don’t use this company. Please if you are a business owner and your looking into this company please don’t use them. I’m sure they have the cheapest payment and that’s why companies use them in the first place, but you will be doing your employees a grave disservice by forcing them to venture into this absolute dumpster fire of a company. I would rate 0/5 if possible but 1 was the lowest I was allowed.
Their general liability insurance purchase process is simply the best online experience I've ever had in my life!
As long as they cover your line of business, you're literally covered! best rates, best coverage, best online experience, best professionals, can't be happier that I chose them!