If you had $1000 in cash, would you leave it in an unattended suitcase or bag? Your immediate answer is likely “No.” But if you are a golfer and own $1,000 worth of golf equipment, you might be inclined to leave your golf bag unattended without giving it a second thought. As a serious golfer, I have always been particular about where I store my golf clubs—just ask my family members or teammates on the Notre Dame women’s golf team. When I traveled nationally to compete in tournaments, I would not leave my golf clubs in the car in the parking lot overnight and instead would bring them with me inside my hotel or host family’s home because I always had a fear that my clubs would be stolen or lost in travel. To this day, when I travel with my golf clubs, they are the first bag I am anxiously watching for at baggage claim!
Golf is considered a gentleman’s (ladies, too!) game, but sadly, each year, there are homeowners insurance claims filed where the loss is due to golf club theft. What type of insurance coverage is available for your golf clubs? A standard H0-3 policy will cover your personal property wherever it is. Often, an insured with a loss involving their golf clubs will discover that the insurance company will only pay them the current value of their clubs. Depending on how old of technology you are using, this may not be enough to purchase a new set. If you are using higher-end equipment, consider getting a replacement cost endorsement for your personal property so that if a loss occurs, you will receive what it costs to replace the golf clubs, after paying your deductible of course!
Here are some tips in order to prevent theft of your golf clubs:
- Don’t leave your golf bag unattended.
- If you go inside to the restaurant after your round for a cold beverage or lunch, either take your clubs with you, ask to store them in bag storage, or lock them in your car.
- You might want to switch out the “Big Bertha” headcover for something more discrete or generic.
- If you see anyone suspicious on the driving range, putting green, course or parking lot, let the pro shop know.
- Put an ID label on your clubs so if they are lost or stolen you can be contacted. This is helpful for when you leave your sand wedge on the side of a green only to discover a few holes later that you left it behind.
- Don’t keep a lot of valuables in your golf bag such as cash, your wallet, or car keys. If your clubs are stolen there goes the rest of your valuables.
- If you typically keep your clubs in the trunk of your car, and you park outside, you might want to reconsider and bring them into your garage or house.
You might ask: what if your clubs are stolen while in storage, i.e. while in the care and custody of the golf club? The club could be liable, depending on whether you signed a waiver.
Finally, when purchasing new golf equipment, make sure to retain the receipts as you may need this later on to expedite receiving replacement cost value from your insurance company.