It is well into summer now and millions of men and women will be out on the golf course trying to beat par or improve their golf game by a stroke or two. While golfers are on the course, I doubt if many are concerned with a lurking danger that can ruin an otherwise great day (and I am not talking about a lot of bogeys). The danger can be found in that wonderful invention, the golf cart.

There have been reports in industry circles about the rise of golf cart accidents. People have been killed or seriously injured after being hit by a golf cart. A good friend of ours had her shoulder shattered when she was hit by a golf cart while on the course. Now, golf carts are supposed to be safe vehicles, even as we drive them without much concern all over the golf course (and off the golf path). There are not many (if any) regulations on the safety or use of the carts, so accidents and resulting injuries are going to occur. The questions then arise: who is responsible and who is going to pay for the injury claims (and property damage claims) if any?

Suppose the golf course owner is held responsible. Presumably, the owner has a general liability policy or a specialized golf course policy to cover liability claims. The standard commercial general liability coverage form would respond to any liability claim arising out of the ownership or use of a golf cart. An insurer might dispute coverage by asserting that the golf cart is an auto since it is a land motor vehicle. However, the counter assertion that the golf cart is mobile equipment (and so, covered under the general liability form) since it is designed for use principally off public roads, is a more reasonable interpretation.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free PropertyCasualty360 Digital Reader

  • All news coverage, best practices, and in-depth analysis.
  • Educational webcasts, resources from industry leaders, and informative newsletters.
  • Other award-winning websites including and

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.