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Stealing Bases: Insuring a Baseball Field Against Vandalism

An insured owns several baseball fields used for youth games and tournaments. They have issues with vandals damaging the outfield, pitchers’ mounds and bases with their cars. Is there any way to insure the fields?
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Q: An insured owns several baseball fields used for youth games and tournaments. They have issues with vandals damaging the outfield, pitchers’ mounds and bases with their cars. Under standard ISO forms, land is excluded. However, in situations like this, is there any way to insure the fields?

Response 1: Specialty programs for golf courses feature coverage for vandalism to the greens. You should look to one of those carriers for help.

Alternatively, if the client is willing to pay a significant premium, you might be able to get one of your insurers to manuscript an inland marine form that covers the exposure. The excess & surplus lines market is probably your best bet for that.

Response 2: This is more of a risk management issue. Place barriers around the fields so that vehicles cannot drive in and cause damage. Or, try and find a market that will add the Additional Covered Property Endorsement CP 14 10.

Response 3: You might be able to find a carrier willing to manuscript coverage via a broker if none of your carriers will. Lloyds is also an option. On the other hand, fencing might be cheaper in the long run.

Response 4: Having worked with public entities and boards of education for over 40 years, the risks posed at outdoor athletic facilities are quite large. Fields, lighting, stands, dugouts, scoreboards, screens, concession buildings, bathrooms and fences all represent a significant exposure. These elements can be addressed using either building or inland marine forms.  

Damage to the playing fields is a large exposure. And someone in a vehicle can do tremendous damage to playing field surfaces and underground irrigation systems. I have had some success adding inland marine coverage for softball, baseball, soccer and football fields. Some providers will address the risk as long as you disclose the cost to build a new field. 

Response 5: ISO has a commercial property endorsement that removes certain items from the Property Not Covered section. Although, getting an insurer to use it—with or without modification—could be tough.

If you found an E&S market, they might be reticent to insure a risk that has been vandalized multiple times in the past. Even if they were willing to insure it, the price would likely be prohibitive.

Insurance is not the only risk management technique to address the exposure. Fencing, locks and cameras might be the only reasonable way to protect this asset. Raising fees for using the field to cover any damage is another option—albeit an unpopular one.

Response 6: Try the E&S market and work with your underwriter to manuscript an endorsement for coverage.

This question was originally submitted by an agent through the VU’s Ask an Expert Service, with responses curated from multiple VU faculty members. Answers to other coverage questions are available on the VU website. If you need help accessing the website, request login information.

14861
Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Public Entities