SUMMING IT UP
- Properties should be as diligent in anticipating how claims can occur as in determining what should be protected.
- Insurers specializing in club policies can often provide additional riders to cost-effectively cover special or new exposures.
As fitness continues to grow as a club amenity, so too do the exposures that are added by the unique equipment and activity found in fitness-center operations.
As club properties expand their scope of activities and member/guest services, insurance coverage should be carefully reviewed to ensure full and proper protection from a wider range of risks.
Whether it’s to properly protect what’s in the grounds maintenance shed, the kitchen, the pro shop, the fitness center or other parts of a club or resort property, all club managers and department heads know it’s a sound practice to keep a comprehensive and updated inventory of all that could be damaged or stolen, and what the replacement costs would be, in the event that equipment and/or supplies fall prey to fire, flood, theft or other natural or man-made misfortune.
But as the scope of activities at club and resort properties continues to expand, it’s also important to have a complete and updated idea of the many ways those areas of the operation, and what they have of value, could be subjected to harm. Many club operations have become so complex, there are now almost as many ways how they could incur a claim as what could be at risk.
Here’s just a sampling, using claim scenarios found on websites of insurance companies that specialize in country club and golf course property and casualty coverage, of how wide the range of risks in most club operations has grown to extend:
• Heavy winds snapped telephone poles used to hold up driving-range nets. As a result of the poles falling, some equipment and a car was damaged. The nets were ripped and had to be replaced.
• As rented lighting, sound and stage gear is installed in a country club ballroom, the parquet floor is damaged, and repair costs exceed $20,000.
• A golfer places his cigar on the grass in the tee box and suffers a reaction, after picking it up and smoking it, to pesticides that have been used in that area.
• A member rolls off a Fit-Ball while working out in the Fitness Center and injures her wrist.
The good news is, as the range of exposures for club operations has widened, so too has the insurance industry’s response in trying to help their customers understand, anticipate and properly cover the full extent of their exposures.
Insurers are responding to try to help their club customers understand, anticipate and properly cover the full extent of their exposures.
“Club insurance can now easily be extended beyond basic property/casualty coverage to also encompass things like pollution insurance for herbicides or pool chemicals, garage keepers insurance if you have valets, liquor liability, even event cancellation or hole-in-one coverage,” says one insurance executive. “Usually these can be handled through additional riders without a lot of significant extra costs above and beyond your basic premiums.
“It’s important, as part of your regular insurance reviews, that you keep your agent and broker contacts apprised of changes in your operation that can affect your overall coverage mix,” this executive adds. “Even better, make this part of your planning process as significant changes are considered that will affect your facilities, your programs, or both.
“This is really just an extension of a good risk-management strategy that you should be partnering with your insurer on,” he notes. “Rather than just walking the property to identify obvious potential hazards, you should be making it a regular practice to walk through all the possible ‘what if’ scenarios for all parts of your operation, too.”
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