Vacationing at a Fishing Lodge with friends, family or business associates is the dream of a lifetime for many. You can find these lodges in some of the most remote areas of the world and there are sure to be a few to choose from in more popular destinations like Alaska and Canada. Owning and operating a fishing lodge can also be the dream of a lifetime. The appeal of taking guests out on the water with the hope of them hooking into a trophy rainbow trout, for example, is very easy for avid fishing enthusiasts to understand. However, running a fishing lodge takes a lot of hard work and can seem like a juggling act when you consider all that it involves. There’s the cabin or cabins that constantly need upkeep. The boats, the engines in the boats and the fishing tackle require attention every single day. There’s food, alcohol, transportation, entertainment, and the list of responsibilities goes on and on for Fishing Lodge owners and employees. Finally, there’s the insurance component and when it comes to insuring a Fishing Lodge things can get confusing rather quickly. There’s a tremendous amount of liability involved and it’s crucial your policy is complete and comprehensive. The two most important professional tips on insuring a fishing lodge are one, Do Your Due Diligence, and two, Be Proactive.
Fishing Lodge Insurance Pro Tip # 1 – Do Your Due Diligence
Whether you are getting ready to open your lodge to the public for your maiden guiding trip or you’ve been in business for 50 years, being diligent with the insurance of your operation is critical. Property in Transit, Liquor Liability and Trading Warranty are just three examples of the inner workings you’ll find in most comprehensive policies. Trading Warranty has to do with where you can operate your boats. Rather than briefly reviewing this section of the policy you should ask questions of your prospective insurer and get down to the nitty-gritty of this section of your policy. For example, what if one of your boats breaks down in an area where I’m covered and then floats to an area of water where you aren’t covered and, heaven forbid, one of my clients becomes injured. With changing weather patterns, flooding and extreme snowpack years potentially affecting where you can and cannot operate your boats, it’s incredibly imperative that you dig deeper when reviewing the policy. Let’s face it, spending hours examining the finer details of any potential Fishing Lodge Insurance policy is like the exact opposite of spending hours catching trophy fish somewhere in God’s country. The fact is, it needs to be done. Doing your due diligence is the only way to truly achieve peace of mind and isn’t that any business owners’ ultimate goal after purchasing an insurance product?
Fishing Lodge Insurance Pro Tip # 2 – Be Proactive
Businesses may not change much from year to year but over the course of any business’s lifespan there are sure to be few, and Fishing Lodges are no exception. The key for an owner is to stay proactive from the time they host their very first customers to the time that ultimately arrives where they sell, pass on to a family member or shut the doors to their lodge for good. Non-Owned Aviation and Pollution are two perfect examples of language found in most Fishing Lodge Insurance policies. Non-Owned Aviation, as one might expect, refers to the section of the policy that deals with the liability involved in transporting guests via floatplane or helicopter. A great example of being proactive would be for an owner to carefully educate themselves on the changes that will occur in their policy if they move from hiring a 3rd party company to handle the transportation to doing it themselves. Instead of purchasing a 185, one of the most common bush planes used in the industry, and then talking to your insurer about the changes to the policy that will result from the purchase, a lodge owner should talk to their insurer beforehand. If your lodge sits somewhere in the tropics there may be another model of airplane that is more conducive to warmer climates. Thus, another model may be less expensive to insure. The term Pollution for the purposes of our discussion has to do with the pollutants nearly every fishing lodge is sure to emit. As you can imagine, different countries have different levels of pollution they deem acceptable in the industry. Another great example of being proactive would be for a lodge owner to ask their insurer what the differences are in pollution acceptability between Canada and the U.S. when determining whether to open a second lodge in Southeast Alaska or Northwestern British Columbia, for example. As it pertains to pollution, the difference in the underlying costs associated with choosing a location in one country over another could be very significant. Being proactive can help lodge owners in their pursuit of best practices and equally as important, it can prevent enormous headaches they may have otherwise not seen coming.
Fishing Lodge Insurance and fishing are very similar in two distinct ways. With both, you want to eliminate as much guesswork and chance as possible. The last thing a lodge owner wants to do is guess when making a decision as to how his or her lodge is insured. In that same vein, their insurance policy should cover the chance of any conceivable event occurring. With fishing, you never want to simply guess where the fish are and you want to leave as little as possible to chance. Whether it’s insurance or fishing, in a word, be thorough.