Why golf course insurance is a serious (and essential) business.

Earlier this year, a fire destroyed an Oakland Hills clubhouse.

getty pictures

There is no golf course except Mother Nature or human carelessness.

Take a look at what happened at the Oakland Hills Country Club on the outskirts of Detroit in February.

Oakland Hills, home to more than a dozen major championships — Ben Hogan won the 1951 U.S. Open when he won the 1951 U.S. Open — was caught in a fire that caused more than $ 80 million in damage. club. The cause has not yet been fully determined.

Needless to say, Oakland Hills, or any course, cannot truly replace what was lost in a tragedy of such magnitude. But getting the right insurance can provide the support you need in a costly rebuilding process that can take years.

This includes the photo of the insurance company. Many of the same insurance policies that provide protection for your home or car also serve as a safety net for golf courses.

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Travelers, which is named after a PGA Tour event, sells golf course insurance. Do the same for smaller stores, such as the Philadelphia Insurance Companies, which offer coverage for courses and clubs to cover liquor and clean and remove contaminants.

Newcomers to the space include Sentry, a brand already known to golf enthusiasts; the company owns SentryWorld, a course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. in Wisconsin, and has been the main sponsor of the start of the 2018 season of the PGA Tour Maui Champions Championship.

Headquartered in Stevens Point, Wis, Sentry has launched a new initiative this year to sell insurance to public, semi-private and country clubs across the country. The company has identified about 8,000 courses to approach, hoping to get at least a few dozen contracts by the end of 2022.

“We’re in the golf business,” said John Hyland Sentry, direct writing team president. “We own a golf course. We are sponsors of a very significant tournament. Why shouldn’t we start opting for this insurance? ”

The key to insurance is to identify how best to protect your courses, and there are several ways to do this. One type of coating is called “tee to green,” which, it seems, would compensate for the damage done from the chain box to the surface. Typically, for this type of coverage, Sentry will offer a $ 1 million benefit, although it can be increased depending on the specific needs of the course.

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“In some cases, the damage may be replaced by storm damage or vandalism,” said Mike Schmike, Sentry’s chief insurance officer.

Courses will be subject to the coverage limits on which premiums you would pay for tee-to-green coverage will vary, and these will vary from state to state. “If you buy $ 1 million in standard coverage, it will cost you less than $ 5 million in coverage,” Schmik said.

Courses can also buy protection for bad golf balls, which means, for example, if a golfer breaks a window in a house or vehicle or causes an injury, a course would receive $ 1,500 per event, Schmik said.

Courses can also guarantee the most sentimental design features, such as an oak signature thrown by a storm.

“We have the ability to identify that tree and provide more than normal coverage,” Hyland said. “Instead, you don’t want to plant the plant in the ground. You may want to look for a more mature tree to transplant. That comes at an additional cost. ”

After all, Hyland said, just as good teaching professionals tailor tips to improve games for every swing of their students, golf course insurance should follow the same principle with clients.

“He’s really working with each individual course to understand how unique they are and to design a program that meets their needs,” he said. “The last thing you want is a cookie cutter approach.”

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