Golf Club Insurance – Time for a “Spring Clean”

By Marsh

Posted 24/03/16

Longer days and the end of “preferred lies” can only mean one thing – another season of summer golf is almost upon us. Golf clubs across the country will be hives of activity as everyone from the membership committee to the clubhouse and greens staff, gear up for the busiest months of the year.

The “spring clean”, however, may comprise more than a lick of paint here or over-seeding and bunker repairs there. Spring is also the ideal time to revisit your insurance risk assessments – especially given this is insurance renewal time for more than a few clubs.

Now that winter is out of the way and hopefully the worst of the cold weather is over, now is the perfect opportunity to review and make sure everything possible is being done to protect the health and safety of members, visitors, and staff, and the well being of the club itself.

Keeping House

The first concern, of course, should be for the safety of everyone using club facilities. This is essentially a risk assessment and management process, covering the clubhouse and its surroundings, the course, and staff.

In the clubhouse, car parks and other surroundings, risk management boils down to vigilance and good housekeeping. That means everything from dealing promptly with slip and trip hazards – potholes in the car park, loose paving and carpets – to making sure entrances and exits are clear and safe.

Think too about the health and safety of staff, particularly new or temporary staff who may not be familiar with club procedures. An effective induction process and training are essential to help mitigate risks.

Finally, of course, it goes without saying that regular, professional maintenance of fire prevention, detection, and extinguishing systems is crucially important – so you should make these checks part of the new season “spring clean”.

Steer a Safe Course

It is also important to carry out a golf course risk assessment as part of preparations for the busy summer period.

Part of the job here is to identify and deal with any new hazards created by winter wear and tear – uneven surfaces, slippery steps, loose railway sleepers around tees, or holes on the course created by heavy winter rains.

You should check that pre-existing safety measures still remain and are in good working order. That means, for instance, checking that warning signs remain visible, safety netting is secure and intact, drain or sprinkler covers are in place and undamaged, and the safety of trees on the course has not been compromised by high winds.

It is also good practice to assess whether any outside developments have created new risks, and potential liabilities. Building developments close to the course boundaries could, for instance, put third parties at greater risk from errant shots.

Get the Right Protection

Finally, think about your insurance arrangements. It is good practice to check that the club has the right level of cover in place at any time, but it is particularly important when the time for renewal comes around.

Specific considerations at this time of year might relate to money on the premises, particularly if some members pay their annual subs in cash. In this scenario, consider whether you need to speak to your insurer about temporarily raising insurance limits.

If it is time for renewal, don’t be tempted to simply go with “the same as last year” – as this could leave you with inadequate cover, or simply paying too much. Either way it is a good idea to work with a specialist broker, who ordinarily will work with you to assess the club’s needs, before presenting you with cover options and advice. The expert advice and guidance that a broker provides should make all the difference in helping you get the right tailored cover, at the right price for your needs.

If you need more information or would like to discuss your club’s risk management programme and insurance needs, please contact us.

This article was published in the April 2016 edition of Golf Club Management magazine, official publication of Golf Club Managers Association.


Posted 24/03/16

Author: Marsh

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