Tornadoes can cause devastation to whole counties, uprooting families and businesses in their wake. While property damage insurance can help communities rebuild, not all businesses have purchased adequate policies to ensure their survival. Owners of entertainment operations such as fun parks, arcades, or mini-golf courses often find their tornado claims underpaid or even denied, forcing them to close their doors. Attorney Bill Voss explores vital tornado insurance coverages for tourist attractions, including policy extensions that can help minimize losses.
Essential Tornado Damage Coverage for Fun Parks and Tourist Attractions
The first thing owners should do is ensure that they have adequate coverage under state law. Every state imposes its own specific insurance requirements for different types of amusement park rides. In Texas, smaller rides for children 12 and under must have at least $100,000 bodily injury coverage $50,000 property damage coverage, while larger rides require at least $1,000,000 bodily injury and $500,000 for property damage coverage.
Your park’s location may also influence whether you should purchase multiple policies to protect against specific perils. Many private insurers will exclude coverage for wind and hail damage to commercial businesses along the Texas coast, such as in Galveston and Harris Counties. If your amusement park or leisure property has a fixed location in one of these areas, it may be wise to secure coverage through the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA).
When it comes to selecting tornado insurance for an amusement park, miniature golf course, or traveling fair, you may wish to consider endorsements that will protect your:
- Rides and structures. Your entertainment property coverage should be tailored to the specific equipment and facilities you offer. For example, it costs much more to replace or restore a roller coaster than a food cart, and it is vital that you know the true value of all of your amenities. All large or expensive equipment should have a high enough policy limit to cover a total loss, even if it means paying an added deductible or opting for a depreciation reimbursement policy.
- Vehicles. Any mobile equipment used to transport rides, employees, or commercial goods should be covered under a comprehensive commercial auto policy. This may include tractor-trailers, horse trailers, food trucks, and other business vehicles.
- Rented equipment. Property damage policies generally will only cover items you own, not those you use under a long-term lease or short-term rental. If you lease your rides, trucks, or other equipment from a third-party, these items should be specifically covered under a rental policy.
- Goods in transit. All amusement facilities can benefit from inland marine insurance, particularly mobile operations such as funfairs, carnivals, or rodeos that are constantly moving from one place to another. This coverage will pay to replace any property that is damaged while in transit or when stored offsite (including compressors, bounce houses, lights, and tents).
- Animals. If your entertainment business relies on animals (including domesticated dogs and ponies, horses for work or rising, or exotic animals such as elephants and peacocks), all animals should be protected under livestock insurance that includes stock mortality insurance in case animals are killed or go missing after a storm.
- Special events. If your operation makes most of its profits at a certain time of year, you may benefit from seasonal coverage to make up the difference for losses in a busy season. Special event insurance can provide additional payment for any events you host on your property (such as weddings or birthday parties) that were canceled due to a covered loss.
- Profits. Business interruption insurance is vital for all commercial enterprises, replacing lost profits, employee payroll, and other expenses for up to six months after a covered event.
If you are having trouble getting fair payment from your insurance company, the Voss Law Firm can examine your policy, investigate the your losses, and fight on your behalf. Simply fill out the contact form on this page today or order a free copy of our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.