A golf course offers beautiful views with immaculate greens, impeccable landscapes, peace, quiet and beauty. The appeal is strong and for much easy access to golf is worth the risk of having your home damaged by golf balls.
Having your home damaged by golf balls is a common problem in Florida. Florida is home to more golf courses than any other state in the country – with 1,250 courses! All those golf courses mean lots of homes on the course, and homes on the course mean having a home damaged by golf balls. It is a fact of life in Florida.
So, if your home is damaged by golf balls, what should you do? Who is responsible? Well, the answer really depends on who you ask, but there are some rules and regulations that generally come into play.
Most law experts agree that the homeowner is responsible for the repairs if they have a home damaged by golf balls. It is based on a facet of the law called Primary Assumption of the Risk Doctrine. This doctrine is based on the view that golfers who play the game assume the level of risk inherent to the game.
While this doctrine primarily is for injuries golfers receive from other golfers’ balls, the doctrine has been teased out to include the risk assumed when living in a home on the golf course.
Assumption of Risk
Most homeowners with homes on a golf course understand the risk golf ball damage to their homes. It is simply something that may happen from time to time. Most homeowners feel the perks of living on the course are worth the occasional damage. Consider whether you want to deal with this type of damage, before purchasing a home on a course.
There are some exceptions to the homeowner assuming the risk.
- Negligence: If it can be shown the player was negligent–not exercising proper care and control–while playing, the golfer may be responsible for the damage.
- Intentional Act: If the golfer in any way intentionally caused the damage, they could also be legally responsible for the damages.
- Faulty design of the course: This could be difficult to prove. If the course desgin is improper or unsafe, the course owner may be responsible.
You have assumed the risk. That doesn’t mean the golfer is not responsible for hitting that ball into your back window. Check with your association if you have a home damaged by golf balls. Many associations have policies created for this purpose.
For example, in The Villages – one of Florida’s premier retirement and golf communities – the course etiquette asks the golfer to notify the homeowner if their golf ball does any damage to a home. The assumption is that the golfer will notify the homeowner and offer to pay for the damages. The golfer has a moral and ethical responsibility to pay for any home damages caused by their play.
You should consider installing special impact resistant glass if you have a home frequently damaged by golf balls. This special window glass resists damage from flying debris – including golf balls. You may get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance if you have impact-resistant glass in your windows.
What to Do if You Have A Home Damaged by Golf Balls
First, as stated earlier, talk to your home association. If you don’t know the regulations already, the association can help. They can tell you who is responsible. Plus, it is always a good idea to put them on notice when you have a home damaged by golf balls.
Next, contact your insurance company. If you have a home damaged by golf balls, contact Aftermath Adjusters and Counseling. We will get ahold of your homeowner’s insurance company. Then we will review your policy and advise you. Keep in mind your homeowner’s policy deductible will likely apply.