The Current Trends in Campground Insurance
Editor's Note: The following story, written by Kristopher Bunker, appears in the July issue of Woodall's Campground Management.
There are few things more polarizing than insurance. Talk to somebody who has had a bad experience, and they’ll spout on and on about how their agent was shifty, their claim was denied or they were improperly accused of some wrongdoing. But that same person would likely be singing an entirely different tune had their claim gone the other way.
Fact is, campground insurance is an absolute necessity. Having the correct policy can mean the difference between staying in business and hitting the unemployment line.
There are a number of insurance providers out there, and it’s important to do your homework to determine which company will best suit you and your campgrounds’ needs.
Woodall’s Campground Management (WCM) spoke with two of the top providers in the industry to get a better picture of what’s new in the world of insurance.
With more than 30 years in the industry, Evergreen Insurance, provider of liability and property insurance to campgrounds, RV parks and resorts, knows a thing or two about the latest developments in the industry. And it doesn’t involve thefts or the RVs themselves. “The biggest trend we have seen in the past 12 months is the number, and severity, of golf-cart claims taking place at camping facilities,” says Lucas Hartford, president of Evergreen MGA. “In the past 3 years we have seen the frequency of claims involving golf carts rise by a little more than 250%. And we have seen the severity of claims involving golf carts rise by more than 400%. With 2.5 times more claims and 4 times more money being paid out on golf cart claims it is quickly becoming an important area of risk management for campgrounds and parks.”
And, Hartford says, although the majority of the golf-cart incidents involve camper-owned carts rather than campground-owned carts, the campground itself is often dragged into the legal process. “This is an issue that owners need to pay attention to and make sure they have proper rules for their business in place about golf carts and that they are very strict about enforcing these rules.” To help with such incidents, Evergreen now offers its Evergreen Protection Plus endorsement, which gives clients dozens of new coverages specific to the camping industry. Hartford also believes education is key when discussing coverage options. “ In addition we are looking to significantly expand the client section of our website to provide a much more in-depth set of educational materials for risk management and insurance.”
Evergreen also includes coverage such as General Liability, Pollution Liability, RV & Trailer Spotting, Special Operations (such as Marinas, Waterslides, Propane, Saddle Animals, Liquor Liability), Auto, Garage Liability, Business Income & Extra Expense and other such coverages. “We can provide general liability limits of $16 million or more,” says Hartford. For more information visit www.evergreenusa.com or call (800) 343-7900.
K&K Insurance Group, which brings more than 60 years of underwriting to the table, offers package coverage for both private and franchised campgrounds including general liability, property, auto, excess liability and workers compensation.
“K&K underwriters are specialists in the camping insurance industry and focus on accurately assessing the unique attributes of individual campgrounds,” says Tracie Reith, senior underwriter for K&K. “By understanding the particular physical traits of each campground, our underwriters can price coverage accordingly.”
Reith has also noticed a developing trend. “The campground insurance market is ‘hardening,’ which means that losses in the overall campground market are causing rates to rise. While no one wants to pay higher rates, this may be a good time for campgrounds with good loss experience to ask their insurance agent for quotes from one or two companies and investigate what is available.”
But there’s much more to it than finding the lowest price. “It’s always important to compare both premium and coverage; the lowest price may not always provide the same type and amount of coverage that another higher-priced quote includes,” says Reith.
Plus, with the daily activities of the average park/campground dramatically changing, it’s more important than ever to understand the type of coverage you need. “We are seeing campgrounds offer activities such as zip-lines, climbing walls, waterslides and horseback riding that are traditionally camp exposures,” says Reith.
“K&K offers coverage for camps as well as campgrounds and is able to provide coverage for exposures that may be difficult for traditional campground underwriters to insure. We can also provide coverage for cabin rental operations that may be excluded by other insurance companies.”
If you are interested in a quote from K&K Insurance, call Tracie Reith at (877) 355-0315 ext. 5667 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.