What is golf insurance?

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Golf can be a pricey hobby, but you can protect yourself and your expensive equipment with an insurance policy. Here is how golf insurance works.
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Golf equipment is very expensive, so it’s a nightmare if it gets damaged or if you injure yourself or others. The good news is golf insurance can protect you and your equipment, leaving you safe in the knowledge you’re covered if something goes wrong. 

How does golf insurance work?

Golf insurance protects you financially against any damage to your golf equipment and can cover any damage you cause while playing, for instance, 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 cannot 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 it as part of your membership. Before buying from your club, you might want to shop around to check if you can get a better deal elsewhere.

What does golf insurance cover?

Golf clubs and equipment

Golf insurance can protect your equipment against theft, loss and damage. This includes any items designed and purchased for playing golf, such as:

  • Golf clubs

  • 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.

You’ll usually have to pay the excess, so it’s worth comparing policies carefully to find one that works for you.

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

Third-party liability

Third-party liability is really important, particularly for golf where you can easily damage property or cause someone an injury with a stray ball. This element will typically provide 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 else'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

Many golf insurance policies will also payout if you are injured while playing. This 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 up to a specified limit - for example, £25 a day

Cover for fees

Golf insurance can cover the cost of membership and tournament entry fees if you cannot 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 customary to buy a round of drinks in the clubhouse bar once you finish.

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 around 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 have it in others. Check your terms and conditions carefully to see whether you’re protected or need to buy an add-on.

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.

Here is how to make sure your travel insurance covers sport

Typical exclusions for golf insurance

Exclusions vary 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 buying a policy, so you know exactly what you are covered for. Remember, cheapest isn’t always best and you need to make sure that the limits on the insurance you choose are suitable for your golfing needs.

What golfing insurance cover do you need?

This depends on how much your golf equipment costs and how much you pay for 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:

Updated 12 May 2020
CoverBasic policyMid-level policyPremium policy
Golf equipment£1,000£3,000£5,000
Third party liability£5 million£5 million£5 million
Membership fees£1,500£2,500£5,000
Hole in one£200£250£300

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 covered. 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 - for example, to 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.

Compare golf insurance here

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