Insurance Complexities Exposed at Town Hall

Al Haggerty

            The complexity of insurance issues facing the Oakmont Village Association and its more than 150 clubs was explored at a town hall which was live-streamed to Oakmont residents on April 7.

             Despite this complexity, one thing is clear: To a great extent, clubs are largely on their own when it comes to insurance. Kevin Hubred, association general manager, in a letter to residents, explains: “Ultimately, the clubs and groups are in the bestposition to determine what insurance is appropriate  and desirable for their activities (if any) and to obtain and maintain that coverage individually, according to their needs.”

            Board President Steve Spanier, who coordinated the town hall from his home, said a summary, including local insurance brokers with access to appropriate insurers, would be made available. He said OVA might consider recommending that clubs be insured for specific events such as those involving alcohol and that vendors provide insurance naming the club and OVA as additional insureds.

            OVA’s insurance coverage as it pertains to clubs was outlined by A.J. Scott of Cline Insurance, OVA’s broker. She addressed the town hall via Zoom from her location in Southern California. OVA members submitted questions via email.

            Each club, Scott emphasized, needs insurance to cover its activities. “We have some challenges,” she said, if OVA did want to extend its coverage to clubs as additional insureds. As it is, she said, there is a limited pool of insurance carriers for an Oakmont-type development. The challenges include the fire risk at Oakmont, OVA’s ownership of the golf course and the accessibility to Oakmont facilities of Oakmont Gardens residents.

            Scott noted that each club has different needs and exposures. If members are not concerned about possible liability, she said, there may be no need for insurance. Each club, she added, should consult with an insurance professional and/or a qualified attorney. She pointed out that there have been no problems regarding clubs’ liability in Oakmont’s history. Nevertheless, she said, each club member might want to consider a personal umbrella liability policy to cover his or her own exposure.

            Asked specifically if those who show films as part of the Movies at Oakmont program are covered by the OVA policy since the program is sanctioned by OVA, which pays for the licensing of movies shown, Scott said it is “extremely likely” that coverage would be extended to members acting on OVA’s behalf.

            Hubred, in his letter, said that OVA could, at some point, decide to insure its clubs and groups, “but it does not have an obligation to do so…” If it did, he said, it would open up the Association at large and its 4,800-plus members to the exposure of each group, some with inherently riskier activities than others.  

            He added that the pool of insurers with an appetite for resort-style community associations is already limited and those willing to extend coverage to OVA’s clubs and groups would be even fewer.

        

        

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