What are Insurance Companies Looking For?
Your independent insurance agent and your insurance company can be valuable partners in helping you reduce or eliminate loss exposures in your fitness and recreation facility. All parties benefit by minimizing claims and losses, and you can achieve this with proper risk management. Most insurance companies use a supplemental application to ask questions about your operation, along with a physical inspection by a loss control professional who walks through your facility to fully assess risks. Learn more about what they are looking for and how this process can benefit your club as well as the safety and enjoyment of your members.
Physical condition of the premises
- Maintenance and housekeeping — Indicators of good risk management include: cleanliness, storage, weights properly racked (when not in use), cleaning schedules for all equipment, maintenance plans for the fitness equipment and protocols for dealing with equipment that may be out of order.
- Re-investment — It is easy to see that a club is not keeping up with the facility if the locker rooms are outdated, or if equipment is in disrepair. Keeping your facility fresh assures your members, as well as your insurance company, that you are on top of things.
- Sprinkler and other physical protection — Sprinkler systems, cooking exposures with proper fire suppression and alarm systems protect your members and your building investment. Surveillance cameras are an excellent deterrent and may capture valuable video to review if an incident occurs.
Waivers and contracts
Another vital area that shows you have good controls in place is your use of liability waivers and contracts. Waivers should be signed by all members and guests, and contracts should be in place with vendors and with any group renting out your facility. These documents should be reviewed by legal counsel every couple of years to ensure they stand up to the current legal environment.
Documented controls and policies
Furthermore, your insurance company will look for any other documented controls and policies such as:
- Incident reporting practices.
- Emergency procedures for fire, weather or medical emergencies that you not only have in place but also discuss regularly and practice with your staff.
- Proper employment screening, new hire orientation and ongoing training
- Check-in procedures for entrance into the facility and any child watch areas, as well as overall security protocols.
Independent insurance agents and insurance companies watch out for your interests and help protect your investment. You can gain a leg up on this process by conducting a review yourself, then using their expertise to sharpen your controls and practices. Then everyone can safely enjoy all that your facility has to offer.
Brian Rawlings is the national program director for the fitness, sports and recreation program at The Cincinnati Insurance Company. He spent 10 years developing and overseeing programs in the fitness industry before joining The Cincinnati Insurance Company in 2005. Brian can be contacted at 513-603-5461 or by email addressed to Brian_Rawlings@cinfin.com.