Specialized Insurance for Campgrounds

Americans have long had a love affair with the great outdoors and camping, but campgrounds are no longer just protected natural areas where visitors can stake a tent. Campgrounds are becoming more luxurious, with amenities usually found at a resort, including heated swimming pools, putting greens and clubhouses.

Whether your campsite is a traditional, rustic spot with few amenities or a glamping resort, you need the financial protection quality insurance provides. From your structures and mobile equipment to liability for visitor and worker injury, insurance designed for campgrounds can help you recover from accidents and disasters. We’ll look at the most important coverages below.

Property insurance for campgrounds

It may be a golden age for the camping industry, but there are still many challenges to running a successful campground. Even if you do everything right in terms of investment and maintenance, accidents and disasters can still take a toll on your revenue and assets. Plumbing and septic systems, a camp store, all your structures, and all your equipment need insurance to make sure damage to any doesn’t cause serious financial harm to your business.

A commercial property insurance written specifically for campgrounds will transfer most of your financial risk to an insurer, leaving you to focus on quality operations.

A business property policy includes your buildings and structures, equipment, tools, computers and printers, and supplies. Any number of insurable “perils” might occur during the course of your operation, from a fire to vandalism to a windstorm. Your policy will likely be written to name the perils it covers. If you need flood insurance or, in some states, wildfire insurance, you may need a separate policy for that specific hazard.

Work with an agent or broker to value your property appropriately so you have high enough limits to replace your losses. Some policies are written to cover your structures and equipment at replacement value. Others are written to reflect the depreciation in worth of items over time. Talk to your agent or broker about the benefits and drawbacks of each type of coverage.

There are some perils that might be excluded from a standard property policy. Those most often can be added through what’s called an “endorsement.” In some cases, you might need a separate policy, but your agent or broker can advise you on that. In particular, ask about covering:

  • Sewer or drain backups
  • Fences and retaining walls
  • Signs, billboards, poles and lights
  • Equipment breakdowns
  • Property that is in transit or off your premises
  • Property owned by your customers
  • Loss of rent
  • Employee dishonesty/fidelity bonds

If you are concerned that damage to your property could put a halt to your revenue, ask about business interruption insurance. It provides a cushion of income during your recovery period so you can make payroll and other crucial payments.

You’ll also need commercial auto insurance for any vehicles owned by your company and used in your business. Commercial auto covers trucks and vans and has higher liability and collision limits than personal auto coverage. It also allows you to name additional insureds on the policy to cover all of your employees who drive for your business.

A range of liability risks

From water slides to zip lines, today’s campgrounds offer a range of recreational activities that can easily lead to injury and lawsuits. Swimming, kayaking, biking, hiking, horseback riding – these all can lead to injury or property damage you may have to pay for.

You may also be held liable for damage to property from falling limbs, vandalism, theft or a fire. Failure to maintain equipment like a boat launch or a fire pit also could cause you to have to pay for damages.

An insurance professional can design a commercial general liability (CGL) policy tailored to the unique characteristics of your operation. All CGL policies protect against claims involving bodily injury, medical expenses, property damage and advertising injury. Advertising injury includes slander and libel, copyright infringement and false advertising.

CGL policies will help pay for your legal defense, settlement costs and any judgments against you. Your agent or broker can help you select the maximum level of coverage, or limits, that make the most sense for your business. The higher your limits, the more you will pay for coverage, of course.

Keep in mind that CGL doesn’t cover injuries to you or your employees. For your staff, you’ll need to purchase workers’ compensation insurance.

Other liability risks

Other types of coverage you may need include:

  • Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) – EPLI covers you if you’re the defendant in a discrimination, sexual harassment or other employment practices lawsuit. EPLI helps pay your legal expenses and settlement costs.
  • Sexual molestation and abuse – This insurance is important if you run camp activities, especially involving children put in your care during classes or events.
  • Liquor liability insurance – These policies cover you if you sell alcohol on your premises. They insure against liability for drunk driving, assault and battery, and property damage.
  • Umbrella insurance – Umbrella coverage provides added protection above your other liability policies. This excess coverage may be less expensive than trying to increase the individual limits in each of your liability policies.

Pay attention to exclusions

While insurance can reduce the financial risk of operating a campground, it can’t eliminate all of your exposure. An insurance professional can assess your operation and answer your questions about what types of activities and events may not be insurable. For example, these types of activities might not be covered by liability insurance:

  • Diving boards and water slides
  • Bungee jumping, trampolines and hang gliding
  • ATV rentals
  • Swimming areas that aren’t properly marked
  • Water skis and rafts

In some cases, you can purchase an addition to your policy to cover excluded activities. Or you may be able to get coverage if you adopt certain safety procedures, such as posting speed limit signs or installing ladders in swimming areas.

Get the coverage you need

From backpacking to boating, there are many different ways to enjoy nature and just as many venues for camping. Whether you own a primitive campground or an RV park with all the bells and whistles, you need insurance to protect your investment. Insure your property, your employees and your guests by working with a professional who specializes in the camping industry.

If you need specialized commercial insurance coverage or would like to learn more,  give us a call, a Cheney representative can answer any questions you may have about your current risks and make sure you have the protections you need.


Reposted with permission from original author.  Applied Systems Inc.