SWGPROPERTY – Commercial Property: How You Can Help Ontario Campground Owners Prevent Liability This Summer

May 2019

Summer is right around the corner. Families are starting to enroll their kids in summer camp, and campers are itching to hit the road. Fortunately, Ontarians have much to discover in their own backyard – our province offers more than 330 of the one thousand plus Provincial and Territorial Parks in Canada and attracts over 10 million visits each year. This season of eager plan-making can be an exciting and stressful time of year for camp owners. Camp owners understand more than anyone else the dynamic and evolving risks involved in owning and running a campground. To maintain a thriving operation, they need to put themselves in the shoes of their campers and staff and they need insurance that covers the unexpected.

Assessing the risks

Camp owners need to imagine a complex set of risks arising from visitors, staff, and the environment. These could come from:

  • The higher likelihood that children and adolescents will engage in risky activities when not supervised by parents/guardians
  • The relationships between campers and staff
  • Exposure to risks that could result in serious injury or death (e.g. swimming while unsupervised by a lifeguard, hiking in hazardous/unmarked areas, fires, operating boats and other camp assets improperly, and lack of protective equipment)
  • Damage to owned and unowned equipment and property (e.g. trailers, watercraft, etc.)
  • Expenses from repairs needed as a result of accidents
  • Health issues (e.g. food/drink poisoning, infectious diseases, vermin/pests, and defective sanitization)

Specialized coverage for camp owners is rare but necessary

Every camping operation is unique. South Western Insurance Group Limited offers a specialized insurance package tailored to meet the protection needs of campground owners. According to property underwriter Amie Vandevenne, “Finding specialized coverages like these within the commercial insurance industry is not always so easy to do. Our Campgrounds product is definitely a specialty program.” Local campground owners can take advantage of such valuable offerings as:

  • Cover for Buildings (Equipment & Contents)
  • Floaters for Office Equipment, Boats & Motors, and Trailers (both non-owned and trailers held for sale)
  • Broad Form Money & Securities
  • All Risk Coverage, Extra Expense Coverage, and Commercial General Liability insurance up to $5,000,000

Vandevenne goes on to point out some of the program’s many highlights that make it so consistently attractive to the company’s broker channels. “We have the ability to work with a variety of campground operations, both large and small. Not only do we cover the full range of long-term lot leases, seasonal, and year-round campgrounds, we can insure such risks and properties as on-site cabin and trailer rentals, propane sales, stores, restaurants, and recreation halls.” South Western Insurance Group Limited’s Campgrounds product also covers extended liability exposure, like:

  • Playgrounds, Mini Golf Courses, and Basketball Courts
  • Swimming Areas, including both Beaches & Pools
  • Boat Rentals, including Canoes, Kayaks, and Paddle Boats plus boats slips/docks

Insurance coverage as unique as your clients

“While our policies for the types of coverages outlined here tend to be standard,” Vandevenne adds, “we can absolutely cater to the individual campground owner’s needs to a certain degree, whenever it becomes necessary to do so.” In fact, South Western Insurance Group Limited’s campground policies can be tailored to fit the needs of most, with additional coverages like peak season endorsement and business interruption insurance also available. “Meeting the specific insurance needs of Ontario campground owners is not something every company can do. Especially since the markets tend to shy away from unprotected risks. At SWG, we are very pleased to be able to make such specialized coverage available for this class of business.” Recap Accidents are an unavoidable part of owning a campground, but they don’t have to spell disaster for your client’s camping operation. Understanding the risks and offering insurance coverage as unique as your clients can give them peace of mind and prevent the worst from happening. South Western’s available coverages include:

  • Cover for Buildings: Equipment & Contents – Scheduled Form
  • Named Perils coverage ACV or All Risk Coverage including Replacement Cost and Consequential Loss (if risk qualifies)
  • Office Equipment Floater
  • Miscellaneous Property Floater
  • Boat and Motor Floater
  • Trailer Floater (trailers held for sale)
  • Non-Owned Trailers (legal liability for damage to customers trailer)
  • Broad Form Money & Securities (if risk qualifies)
  • Commercial General Liability (up to $5,000,000 limit available)