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Time to review your golf club's insurance policy

July 31, 2014

With many more golfers taking out insurance there has been an inevitable rise in claims against golf clubs and institutions as golfers become more aware of where the law stands in terms of liability. After Anthony Phee was struck by a golf ball and partially lost his sight in 2011 a lot of golfers both amateur and professional have re-evaluated their insurance status and look more to golf courses to take responsibility for injuries and accidents. In the case of Mr Phee, the court ruled that even though James Gordon had hit the shot, Niddry Castle Golf Club itself was 30% liable for the incident and was ordered to pay its share of the £ 397,000 damages awarded. Judge Lord Brailsford declared that as the second defendants Niddry Castle Golf Club were partly responsible as they had failed to do everything within their power to encourage safety and awareness on the course. Brailsford stated:

"By failing to take a more proactive approach, the second defenders were failing in a duty owed to persons coming on to the course... I firstly observe that the second defenders, at the time of the accident, had made no effort to conduct a formal risk assessment of their course."

While no one expects a golf club to shun all liability for its members actions on the course, there are many steps that can be taken to make sure that the club has taken all necessary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of its staff and attendees. The best way that Niddry Castle Golf Club could have protected itself would have been to have a specialist golf club insurance company make a review of the premises and offer professional health & safety advice.

A golf club cannot completely eliminate the risk of golfers, visitors or members of the pubic being struck by a ball but they must be seen to have taken every step possible to identify risks and inform their members and the public of them. A club also has to identify hazards on and around the course such has sharp drops, slippery paths, hidden ditches and unstable trees and bushes. Without regular inspections of the course a club cannot make the public aware of such hazards.

This is where a first class specialist golf course insurance company can make all the difference. If you type " golf club house insurance " into Google there is a reason that Bluefin Sport is the top hit. They offer expert advice on health and safety and risk assessment as well as full legal counsel. The main aspect that makes them stand out is the bespoke manner in which they approach each individual course. They know that no two golf clubs are the same or stay the same and a result they keep in touch at regular intervals over the year to look at adjustments, renewals or claims. Covering some of the world's top professional golfers and courses they have now teamed up with Aviva, Aviva Engineering , ACE Europe , the National Golf Club Advisory Association (NGCAA) and ARAG to create an exclusive golf club insurance called Classic Golf. If you haven't looked into it already then you can read more here.

Bluefin Sport is one of the UK's leading independent insurance brokers, providing specialist insurance and risk management services to individuals and businesses.

www.bluefinsport.co.uk




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