Golf is not considered a dangerous sport, and yet accidents occur frequently. By accidents, we mean broken windows, involuntarily golf club mishaps, one player’s ball hitting another player from the tee box, golf cart accidents, etc. Since these types of incidents are mainly accidental, can you still get sued? Are you really at fault if the act was not intentional? The answer is yes. Civil liability states that it is incumbent upon the person who is at fault to repair the damage caused to another and that that person is accountable for his or her acts at all times. Now, how can you protect yourself? If you are a renter, a co-owner or even an owner and have home insurance, you are automatically have civil liability coverage of $1,000,000 or $2,000,000 in the event of a lawsuit.
If you are a regular golfer, you have probably already witnessed incidents on the golf course. For example, let’s say you have the misfortune of hitting your partner with your fairway wood. You become liable because the club was in your possession even though your act was not intentional. Even supposing that the person you hit is a childhood friend, he could decide to sue you for bodily injury and moral damage that you caused him. Your first reaction will probably to have a mild anxiety attack because you are very well aware that legal fees and defence costs will be high. Have no fear, your insurer will cover these costs and will be there to defend you. Now, let’s use the same example but imagine that your 16-year-old offspring dreams of becoming the next Jordan Spieth. Will he be covered if he lives in the same bungalow as you and your spouse? As you might have guessed, the answer is yes. Your child who lives under the same roof as you is considered an insured and is therefore automatically covered under your home insurance policy.
Have you ever hit a ball so crookedly that you had to yell “Fore” from the top of your lungs followed by a few blasphemous words? If you said yes, it’s even possible that you’ve already struck a shed or even the window of a house. In this situation, despite the involuntary and unintentional act, you become liable and the owner of the building can sue you for the property damage that you caused. His insurer will compensate him to repair the broken glass. The insurer will subsequently sue you to recover the amount paid to his insured. If the damage is minimal, it’s also possible to file a claim with your insurer using the “Voluntary payment for damage to property” coverage.
And what if you’re travelling?
Let’s complicate matters. Let’s assume that you are on a golf course in Mexico with your friend Jimmy. You completely miss your tee shot and your ball is flying toward another fairway. When you get there, you see a young man in pain: your shot hit his head! You know very well that he will be unable to work for many months and will need medical care. What will you do if he sends you a $150,000 bill to foot? Did you know that you will be covered even if this incident took place in Mexico? Affirmative. Your civil liability coverage protects you anywhere in the world and your insurer will represent you if you are sued by the young man.
In short, it’s important to understand that not only is home insurance essential to cover your personal property, but to defend you in the event of a lawsuit for property damage, bodily injury or moral damage that a victim may have suffered because of you. There you have it, you can now have peace of mind when you’re golfing. We hope you enjoy the last days of golf as the season comes to an end!