How does golf insurance work?

It protects you financially against any damage to your golf equipment, and can cover any damage you cause while playing, e.g. if you hit a car with your golf ball.

It can also cover personal accidents you suffer on the course, the cost of your golf membership if you are unable to play and even the bar tab if you hit a hole in one.

You can buy a golf insurance policy directly from an insurance company, or your golf club may offer cover as part of your membership.

What does it cover?

Golf clubs and equipment

Golf insurance can protect your golf equipment against theft, loss and damage.

This includes any items designed and purchased for playing golf, such as:

  • Golf balls

  • Trolleys

  • Clothing

  • GPS gadgets

When you claim, your insurer will either pay to have your equipment repaired or provide a replacement up to the claim limit in your policy. Some insurers offer new for old cover, so check the policy before you buy.

Most policies do not cover golf buggies or carts, but some let you add buggy insurance for an extra cost.

Third party liability

This can include cover if you:

  • Injure another person: Your insurer can cover any costs and expenses if you injure another person while playing golf.

  • Damage third party property: Your insurer can cover any costs if you accidentally damage somebody's property.

For example, if your ball strikes another player or damages somebody's car, you can claim for costs like medical bills, repairs or legal fees.

Personal injury

A golf insurance policy can pay out if you are injured while playing, and includes cover for:

  • Personal accidents: Your insurer will pay out a lump sum if you suffer an injury that results in your death or the loss of limbs, sight or a permanent disability.

  • Dental treatment: This can cover the cost if you need dental treatment following an injury while playing golf.

  • Hospitalisation: This will pay out for every day you are hospitalised following an injury while playing golf, for example 25 a day.

Cover for fees

Golf insurance can cover the cost of membership and tournament entry fees if you are unable to play due to injury or illness.

This covers fees you have already paid or are contracted to pay, and your injury does not have to have been sustained while playing golf.

Hole in one cover

If you hit a hole in one during a club competition, it is usually customary to buy a round of drinks in the club house bar after your round.

Most golf insurance policies can cover this cost up to a set amount like 200. However you will need to provide a scorecard signed by your club's secretary as proof.

Who you buy drinks for is down to your own club's rules, but it is often expected that you buy a round for you, your playing partners and whoever else is in the bar at the time.

Overseas cover

Golf insurance policies can cover you worldwide if you are planning a few rounds when you go on holiday.

Some policies include worldwide cover as standard, but you may need to pay extra to include it in others.

If you are planning a golfing holiday, get travel insurance that includes cover for golf because some policies do not protect you when you play certain sports.

What does it not cover?

This varies between policies, but golf insurance usually does not cover:

  • Any damage to your equipment caused by wear and tear

  • Theft, loss or damage that occurs when you are not playing golf

  • Theft of your equipment if you leave it unattended

  • Any injury not caused by playing golf

  • Hole in ones that did not occur during an 18 hole club competition

Check the documents carefully before you buy a policy so you know exactly what you are covered for.

What cover do you need?

It depends on how much your golf equipment costs and how much you pay for things like club membership and entering tournaments.

Most golf insurers offer several policies with different cover limits you can choose from. The higher the cover limits are, the more expensive the policy will be, for example:

CoverBasic policyMid-level policyPremium policy
Golf equipment1,0003,0005,000
Third party liability5 million5 million5 million
Membership fees1,5002,5005,000
Hole in one200250300

Golf insurance policies can cost between 20 and 70 for annual cover, depending on the level of policy you choose and the insurer.

Work out what policy you need by calculating what you spend on golf, and how much your equipment is worth.

Do you need it?

When working out whether you should get golf insurance, think about:

  • How often you play golf: The more you play, the more likely it is that you will have an accident, be injured or damage your equipment.

  • How much your golf equipment is worth: If you have a lot of expensive equipment, it could cost thousands of pounds to replace if it is all stolen.

  • If you pay for golf membership: Some memberships cost thousands of pounds a year, which you would waste if you cannot play.

  • Whether your equipment is already covered: Check your contents insurance policy to see if your clubs are already covered while at your home.

Your home insurance should cover your golf clubs while they are kept inside your home or locked away in a garage or shed, but they may not be protected when you take them away e.g. on the golf course.

The decision to get golf insurance is down to you, and whether the peace of mind of having protection in place is worth the cost of a policy.