With the Masters Tournament just finished and the weather across Canada slowly warming up, more and more people are considering booking a tee time at their local course. Whether golfing is a hobby or a profession, it is important to understand the liabilities of golf and to make sure that you are covered in the event of an incident.
According to Golf Digest, flying golf balls and club heads send nearly 40,000 golfers to emergency rooms every year. Unfortunately, you don’t have to be playing golf to get injured; whether you are a passerby, a spectator at a tournament, or a neighbour of the golf course, you are at risk.
So, who is liable for golf ball injuries or damage when it does occur? The golfer who hit the golf shot is generally liable unless gross negligence can be proven on the part of the person struck. The general rule is that those who take part in golf assume the risks that come along with playing the game, but that does not apply to passersby or properties neighbouring the course. Many courses have signs reminding golfers of their responsibilities to cover damages from errant golf shots.
Having the right liability coverage in place is vital for owners of golf courses in order to cover costs of damage and legal fees if they are sued for damage caused by their patrons. Similarly, individual golfers should make sure that they carry a personal homeowner’s or tenant’s policy in order to have liability coverage to protect themselves from possible exposure.
Even though liability generally falls back on the golfer, homeowners who live on a golf course should know what their home insurance policy covers, including the deductible for broken glass and their liability limits. This is because it may be difficult to prove who caused the damage unless the golfer immediately reports it. It is also recommended that houses potentially in the line of fire put up netting and/or cover their windows with roll shutters to help prevent ball strikes.
If an injury does occur on the golf course, it is important for course owners and golfers to take appropriate steps afterwards. First ensure that the injured party receives immediate medical attention. Gather as much information as possible about the incident and keep records of your golf course’s routine maintenance services and the circumstances leading to the injury or damage. It would also be beneficial to contact your insurance agent for further direction and information.
To discuss your current coverage or to find out how Fuse Insurance can help you, talk to one of our expert brokers.
Fuse Insurance Ltd. is the evolution of the commercial insurance brokerage, and the first of its kind in Western Canada. Backed by policies from a selection of A-rated insurers, Fuse Insurance can provide coverage for businesses large and small from almost any industry. For further information or to get an online quote now, click here or call us at 1-866-387-FUSE (3873) for more details.