I was in the Golf Monthly forums and the interesting topic of golf insurance was posted by a concerned golfer who, having noticed that his precious golf clubs were not insured on the buildings and contents policy, was worried about loss or theft, now that his collection of golf clubs and other paraphernalia was rising in value as he got more and more into the game.
The general consensus is that, for less than £40/per annum, getting golf insurance is an absolute no-brainer. There are extensions, or ancillaries, that you can take out to up the ante if your golf collection is worth a small fortune. The one golfer, for example, had the basic £29.99 cover with golf care (currently discounted by 30% to £22.99) but has doubled the original premium to cover for European golf and flight cover. I suppose that makes sense if you travel to play your golf with the golf bag being out of site for so long and knowing the diligence and care baggage handlers treat tourists personal goods with (!?!?).
But the clincher that sold it for most golfers was the unfortunate case concerning Anthony Phee, a golfer from Sale who’d nipped over the border into West Lothian for a game at Niddry Castle Golf Club.
The golfer’s eye ‘exploded’ on impact
Whilst walking between holes, he heard the distant cry of ‘fore!’, but even a duck and a hand in front of his face couldn’t prevent the golf ball zipping through his defences and hitting him square in the eye. According to the medical report that formed part of the personal injury case against the unfortunate golfer who hit the tee shot, Mr Phee’s eye literally ‘exploded’ on impact, leaving him partially-sighted for life and having to adjust to the ‘harrowing’ experience, accordingly.
The payout for this personal injury case, awarded late 2011, was a staggering £397,000, with the golfer who hit the tee shot being deigned 70% responsible and the Niddry Castle Golf Club having to accept 30% of the liability. Needless to say, having to find those sorts of costs without insurance would ruin many a casual golfer. It has caused many golf clubs to now include an annual insurance as standard in their annual memberships, but you can see why.
It doesn’t matter what your handicap or if it’s the first time you’ve ever picked up a golf club, we are all liable to hit a poor shot if everything’s not just-so. The Golf Care policy, which has four grades, covers up to £5m liability and £50k for a personal accident, the premiums increasing as the value of the golf equipment you insure accrues to meet your own personal expenditure on golf clubs, balls and sundries, etc.
For the sake of £22.99, Golf Care’s basic current discounted offer, is being without golf insurance worth the hassle, especially in this day and age of the somewhat spurious personal injury claims, well reported in the media and being blamed for the spiralling cost of vehicle insurance in the UK?
As someone pointed out on the forum, though, it is unlikely that golf insurance is likely to pay out if you just leave your golf clubs unattended and they walk; they are likely to expect some diligence on the part of the policy holder and having insurance is not an excuse to be carte blanche irresponsible.