Insurance (fore) the golf enthusiast

Sep 10, 2015 3 minute read

Insurance (fore) the golf enthusiast

Golf is a popular and favourite pastime for a variety of reasons. Many people enjoy spending their summer days on the course or driving range. Others like the excitement of cheering on their friends and family in tournaments, especially with the excitement of hole-in-one prizes. Some people live alongside the scenic landscapes offered by golf courses and welcome the convenience of travelling from their doorstep to the clubhouse in their own golf cart.

We’ve examined some interesting ways insurance relates to golf when it comes to offering hole-in-one insurance, living next to a golf course and golf carts.

Hole-in-one insurance

Whether it’s on the PGA Tour or a local charity golf fundraiser, offering lucrative hole-in-one prizes is common practice in the world of golf. These rewards can range from expensive cars to prize money. While it’s rare for a golfer to actually achieve a hole-in-one, prizes create excitement and hype for tournaments and can entice participation and viewership.

How do golf tournament organizers handle the financial responsibility of paying out these hole-in-one prizes? The answer is simple. They don’t. Instead, they purchase hole-in-one insurance, which is a form of prize indemnity insurance.

According to About Sports, the chance of a professional golfer hitting a hole-in-one is 1/2,500. When it comes to amateur golfers, the probability declines to 1/12,500. Although the chances of hitting a hole-in-one is low, golf tournament organizers will generally opt to pay a reasonable hole-in-one insurance premium to an insurance company, rather than risking having to pay out a prize on their own. Given the odds, it would be rare that a hole-in-one prize is awarded and the only financial implication to the organizers is the premium paid in advance.

However, in the rare instance that a hole-in-one prize is claimed, the golf tournament’s hole-in-one insurance will cover the cost of the award, whether it’s purchasing a new BMW or writing a $100,000 cheque. Hole-in-one insurance allows tournament organizers to confidently offer significant prizes without the burden of financial obligation for the full prize value.

Living near a golf course

Neighbourhoods surrounding golf courses often possess scenic views, and if you happen to be a golfer you can enjoy the benefit of practically having a golf course in your backyard. However, living in close proximity to a golf course also comes with the inconvenience of stray golf balls flying onto your property. Not only can this pose a threat to the safety of everyone in your household, but it can also cause considerable damage to your home and possessions.

When it comes to damages from golf balls landing on your property, who takes on the financial responsibility? Technically, the golfer who hit the ball onto your property is at fault and they may be able to utilize their home insurance policy to cover your repairs. Golf courses post signs on the tee boxes and fairways advising golfers of areas where they should take extra caution as there is a greater chance of hitting the ball onto residential property.

Golf courses warn players of areas where there is a high risk of hitting balls onto residential property.

Unfortunately, it’s common for an offending golfer to flee after hitting a stray golf ball. In these instances, you as the homeowner will need to take care of your own repairs. Living near a golf course means that you assume the inherent risk of possible damages that can result from activity on the course. This includes having errant balls impact your property.

While damages are typically covered by your home insurance policy or comprehensive auto insurance, you will always have to pay a deductible. To minimize the risk of home or auto damage from golf balls, you might consider installing shatter-proof windows or a netting system adjacent to your property.

Golf carts and insurance

What type of insurance is required for golf carts? By extending your home insurance policy to cover your golf cart, your cart will be insured while on the golf course as well as within residential areas. This protection will cover you for liability in the event your cart is involved in a collision, as well as for potential fires, theft, vandalism and other types of risk, such as damage from flying golf balls. If you live in a residential area near a golf course and wish to drive your own cart to the course, contact your broker to determine any additional insurance you require.

When it comes to insurance, don’t rely on mulligans. Contact a BrokerLink broker to make sure you have the right insurance coverage you require for your specific needs.