Allowing Safe Day-Use In Your Park

If you’ve invested resources to make your park a fun place, chances are that people will want to come visit! These visitors are not limited to your camping guests; friends of campers or members of your local community may want to come as well to swim in your pool, play on your playgrounds, see your fireworks, or ride your zip line. If you are considering allowing non-campers to use your amenities, here are some important facts to appreciate:

  • If a visitor gets hurt on your premises, you are just as responsible for their injury as you are for the safety of your camping guests.
  • Even if you have the visitor or camper sign a waiver, they can still sue you in the event of an injury.
  • Your insurance company is able to cover you if you allow visitors, but they usually want to know you’re monitoring visitors in a methodical way.

If you want to allow day-use of your premises, here is some advice on how to do it safely:

  • Have a waiver signed for each person using your premises. If families are coming in, have one waiver that will cover the whole family (including kids) to make it easier. One method we recommend is to have one waiver for all activities that is good for the whole season. Have this waiver reviewed by an attorney familiar with the laws in your state. While having this waiver doesn’t prevent a lawsuit, it will be evidence that you advised visitors of the dangers that lie within the fun activities they’re doing.
  • Be sure signs are posted with rules for the different activities, especially the pool.
  • Track the number of visitors/unique visits you have each year. This will help you secure fairly priced insurance coverage for this part of your business.
  • Be sure to notify your insurance company that you would like to allow day-use of the park and ask what guidelines they have for you. Get their response and approval in writing.

While allowing visitors does add an additional element of uncertainty and risk to your operation, it can be a great way to enhance the appeal of your park to guests and the community. You are not required to allow this, but if you would like to, following these guidelines can help you do it in a safe, responsible way.

Happy Kamping!

James Dick, AAI

James Dick, CPCU, AAI

James is a licensed Property and Casualty broker working as an Account Executive for a number of Merriam’s insurance programs. He is a native of Schenectady who enjoys traveling abroad. James has a BA in Economics and Classics from Washington and Lee University.

Account Executive
Schenectady, NY

Toll-Free:
(877) MERRIAM (637-7426) x 219

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