Wanted – Bass tournament insurance

Wanted – Bass tournament insurance

Wanted – Bass tournament insurance by Timothy Montales

Lucky Lure Tackle’s weekly Tuesday night jackpot bass tournaments in Lake Hefner have been cancelled; while David Hughes, owner of the Oklahoma City tackle store, was informed he must buy an insurance policy to cover the city from liabilities should the tournaments push forward. The weekly jackpot tournaments were held for seven years on the lake.

“I think it is a little bit senseless because they got all kinds of other events that nobody is buying a permit for much less buying an insurance policy for. It is pretty aggravating to me,” Hughes said in a NewsOK article.

Jennifer McClintock, public information officer, Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust, stated that requiring an insurance policy for activities on the city’s public lakes and properties is fundamental.

In an email sent to The Oklahoman, McClintock said that: “Any business that wishes to offer an event to the public and charge a fee for said event (including parks and lakes) is required to have a city permit and event insurance. This protects the city and the taxpayers from liability should an accident occur during the event. This is true for sporting events (5Ks, ball games, etc.), as well as concerts, exercise programs (i.e. cross fit and boot camps) and other events.”

McClintock also said that city officials were unaware of the bass tournaments amid its seven year run until recently, while Lisa Hubbell, trust specialist, Oklahoma City Water Utilities Trust, believed that it would be a different story if it was only a social gathering and not a tournament where money was involved.

“If they were just fishing as part of their fishing permit, we wouldn’t care. But as soon as you pull it into an actual tournament, it’s an organized event. From the city’s standpoint, we don’t want to be exposed to liability,” Hubbell stated.

McClintock mentioned that private groups hosting events like a birthday party or a reunion who are not charging an admission can rent facilities without buying insurance, but a special event permit and insurance will be required if the event is hosting 75 people.

“The city processes hundreds of event and permitting requests annually on multiple properties, so this is part of our standard operating procedure,” she added.

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  • Martin Ridgers, CPCU 6/19/2017 9:18:38 AM
    The City is right to require insurance and it is really available from several special event insurance companies. Everyone is happy to be together to do something fun and something they love. As soon as someone is injured the family have to look for any resource they can to pay for medical bills and loss of income. As we do not have a National Medical system this puts a lot more reliance on private insurance to fill the gap just for medical costs. The Bass Shop owner should also realise this can protect something he has built over many years his business and his own personal assets. As he does not believe he has insurance then either he does not have insurance on his own business or he has not told his insurance company of the Bass Tournament which could leave him with no protection as this could be viewed by his insurance company a material fact that was not disclosed enabling them to deny a claim or even void the policy. Small business owners should have a close and trusting relationship with there insurance brokers and talk to them about all of their activity to ensure proper insurance is in place. The cost of the premium is small problem to over come rather than a law suit. The fact the event went on 7 years with no one noticing and no claims is not relevant to what could happen today, it can be a factor to keep the premium lower but what happened yesterday does not mean something could not happen today. Insuring special events over the last 30 years I have even seen a claim for a fisherman shooting another because there planted illegal fish escaped that was bigger and the other fisherman caught it. A pores lost their life for a prize that would have been won illegally. The smart thing to do is buy the insurance and have security and safety people at the event to mitigate the chance of injury.
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  • John S. 6/20/2017 9:04:49 PM
    Don't they sign a liability waiver when they register for the tournament? Would that not be enough?

    John S.
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