Take a look at your monthly outgoings; you’ll see insurance payments covering your life, house, car, washing machine, mobile phone, maybe even your dog. We’re used to covering ourselves against risk so we can go about our daily lives with peace of mind, safe in the knowledge we are acting responsibly.
Golf is unarguably a risky business. For four hours you wander around an open space where multiple projectiles are flying in all directions at high speed. You fire some of these, and you use some extremely expensive equipment to do so. In the near vicinity are a number of other projectile launchers, none of whom are wearing protective clothing. Within range around the perimeters are, quite possibly, houses, cars and members of the public, all with very breakable bits on them.
You’d think that before undertaking such a potentially hazardous activity, a primary piece of preparation would be to make sure you have suitable insurance to cover yourself against theft, accidents or injury. But, incredibly, 9 out of 10 golfers in the UK don’t have adequate insurance to protect themselves on the golf course.
Household insurance is often not enough
Many golfers assume they’re insured for golf through their household insurance policy, but in the majority of instances this isn’t the case.
In recent years, “extras” like personal liability have been stripped from most household insurance policies to keep premiums down.
Many insurers will not include cover for sporting activity and, adding this cover to your home insurance could be significantly more than the cost of a bespoke golfing policy.
Personal liability on your home insurance may only apply to incidents that take place in the insured property. Not then on a golf course.
Insurance cover for loss, or theft, of golf equipment away from the home may not be included. Again you might have to pay an additional sum to your home insurer and, again, this could be more than the cost of a specific golfing insurance policy.
So you may not have sufficient cover under your home insurance and, even if you are able to make a claim, it’s likely to push your premiums up at renewal time and the loss of your no claims bonus.
Can you afford to take the risk?
2011 saw a landmark court case for golfing accidents when a player was awarded almost £400,000 in damages after being stuck by a wayward golf ball on a course in West Lothian and losing his sight in one eye.
The presiding judge found both the club and the player who struck the ball liable for the damages – despite him having shouted “Fore!”
How many of us could bear such a financial burden? Facing a settlement of this significance could have serious repercussions.
If a player were found liable in such a case, there would likely be costs to recover as well as damages. If the losing party were uninsured and unable to pay, a Court Order would allow the victim to recover compensation by way of a Charging Order against the individual’s property. Possibly then an Order for Sale; the instruction of Bailiffs; the deduction of monies directly from the individual’s bank account and/or earnings directly from their employer. So the consequences of being found responsible without suitable insurance in place are potentially ruinous.
Imagine the dilemma if you injured a friend on the golf course and you weren’t suitably insured. Should the injured party pursue a claim through the courts knowing the potential financial consequences for you? If they didn’t, how would you feel if they suffered a loss of earnings or medical costs as a result of the accident?
It’s not just for personal liability that specialist golf insurance is important. It covers you for personal accident and will also protect against property damage you may accidentally cause: a broken window or a dent in a car bonnet for example. Golf insurance policies will cover your equipment if it is damaged or stolen. Think about the value of your golf bag and its contents – maybe up to £2,000, maybe even more. Could you afford to replace the lot if someone stole it?
Relax on the fairways
Having specialist golf insurance is clearly essential for a raft of practical reasons. It could also improve your game. It’s vital to relax on the golf course, to clear your mind of negative thoughts and enter “the zone.” It’s rather difficult to attain that level of composed concentration if you have a niggling fear over every shot that an errant strike could cost you thousands of pounds.
Golf Care offers specialist insurance policies from just £22.99 per annum, to cover you for personal liability up to £5 million, personal accident up to £50,000, accidental damage and equipment theft, loss or damage. We can even pay your bar bill if you hit a hole-in-one.