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What Types of Insurance Does a Bowling Alley Need?

What Types of Insurance Does a Bowling Alley Need?

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What Types of Insurance Does a Bowling Alley Need?

The modern business model for a bowling alley no longer resembles the mid-century images of smokey establishments catered mainly to married middle-class men. Today’s bowling alley is a family establishment with entertainment geared toward all ages. The diverse development of the modern bowling alley creates a model that has unique insurance needs.

Related – How to Start a Bowling Alley

What are Some of the Risks of Owning a Bowling Alley?

The risks associated with a bowling alley are primarily located on the physical property location of the bowling alley.

  • Guest injury
  • Property Damage
  • Stolen Property
  • Crime
  • Employee injury

While the list is not exhaustive, examples of risks associated with a bowling alley help identify what insurance is necessary to cover your business needs effectively.

1. Guest Injury

Bowling is a moderate level of physical activity. The risk of injury is increased based on the nature of the activity. Soft leather-soled shoes lead to an increased risk of slip and fall injuries. Bowling ball injuries are also a risk. Either by dropping the ball or improper use. Some bowling alleys offer food service. This adds an additional level of risk for food-related injury.

2. Damage to Materials

The bowling alley materials are extensive, and damage to the materials can hinder your ability to maintain your business. Depending on the extent of the services offered by the bowling alley, damage to any of these materials could curtain your bowling center’s services:

  • Pinsetters
  • Ball return machines
  • Sorting machines
  • Tables, benches, or chairs
  • Bowling balls
  • Ball drillers, grinders, or engravers
  • Ball cleaners
  • Kitchen equipment
  • Entertainment equipment
3. Damage to the Premises

Bowling alley businesses are specifically premises-based operations organizations. This means that a bowling alley is run on-site and likely cannot be run at alternate locations or even virtually. The location of the bowling alley is essential to the continued business. If the site is damaged for any reason, this could significantly impact the success of the business.

4. Employee Injury

A bowling alley cannot run without employees. These employees will have a variety of duties that may carry a risk of injury. Duties such as cleaning, food handling or cooking, or physical injuries associated with equipment or repetitive motion, all create a risk of employee injury.




Types of Insurance Coverage a Bowling Alley Should Consider


A bowling alley comes with many risks, which is why insurance is important to a bowling alley. Bowling alleys should consider all the risks associated with the business and select appropriate insurance policies that effectively cover these risks. With the right insurance selection, a bowling alley can protect its business and ensure continuity, despite the risks associated with conducting business.

1. General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance covers your business if a business-related accident causes damage or injury. The risk of a claim or lawsuit related to your business activities could devastate your business.

A bowling alley’s premises are essential to its operations, but those premises also come with a risk.

A general liability insurance policy will help cover the cost of claims for medical expenses or damaged property made by guests for events that happen on the premises. This insurance can also help cover costs of legal defense in the event the bowling alley is sued by a guest for injury or damaged property associated with the business premises or operations.

How Much Does General Liability Cost?

The cost of general liability varies, depending on factors such as:

  • Physical location of the bowling alley
  • Condition of the premises
  • Prior claim history

On average, a million-dollar general liability policy will cost approximately $500 per year.

A bowling alley that also serves alcohol will also need to purchase a separate policy for liquor liability.

2. Commercial Property Insurance

While liability coverage protects you against claims made by others against the business, the business itself also needs coverage for damages to its premises. This coverage is business property insurance. Risks of damage to business property for a bowling alley are significant and may include:

  • Fire damage, specifically due to an electrical malfunction
  • Wind damage from storms
  • Theft
  • Water damage from pipes

Bowling alleys are at higher risk of fire damage claims due to the amount of electricity use. The entertainment systems and automated systems associated with bowling alleys use more electricity than other businesses, which is what increases the risk of an electrical fire.

A bowling alley that serves food may also have an increased fire or smoke risk associated with food preparations. Grills, ovens, oil fryers, microwaves all utilize heat elements that could spark an unintentional fire.

The entertainment systems also carry a risk of theft. The speakers and audio or light equipment are likely to be of value and carry the risk of theft. The exchange of money on site is also an added risk. A bowling alley that serves alcohol is likely to do some of its business in cash, which is attractive to criminals.

How Much Does Business Property Insurance Cost?

The cost of business insurance property is calculated using various factors.

  • Square footage of the facility
  • Risks assessment
  • Age of the building
  • Security on site
  • Value of the business’s contents
  • Replacement value of the property

The average annual cost of business insurance property is between $500 and $1,000.

3. Business Interruption Insurance

A bowling alley that relies on a physical location, like a bowling alley, will suffer significant financial losses if something renders the location inaccessible. Business interruption insurance offers financial protection if you are forced to close your business temporarily.

Business interruption insurance can be used to cover several types of expenses while a business is temporarily closed.

  • Rent or mortgage
  • Temporary relocation
  • Employee lost wages
  • Taxes
  • Loan payments

Business interruption insurance has some limitations.  Many insurers due to not cover closures due to viruses or bacteria. Any temporary shutdowns that are not related to property damage are also not likely to be covered.

How Much Does Business Interruption Insurance Cost?

Small businesses can expect to pay lower business interruption insurance costs than high-volume businesses. The cost can vary depending on your business’s annual revenue, location of your business, and risk assessments.

On average, business interruption insurance costs between $500 to $1,000 annually.

4. Inland Marine Insurance

Inland Marine Insurance is an inaccurate name for the coverage provided by this line of insurance. This coverage allows you to individually cover equipment of significant value individually.

This means a bowling ball drill or other business specific equipment can be insured against theft or damage.

Most insurance companies require that large items and power tools be five years old or less and be itemized.

How Much Does Inland Marine Insurance Cost?

Inland marine policies will typically cost $100 – $300 per year.

5. Workers’ Compensation

A bowling alley cannot run without employees. Workers’ compensation coverage is a required coverage for any business with employees.

Bowling alley employees will be exposed to frequent and minor injuries. Slip and fall accidents or repetitive motion injuries are the most likely injuries for bowling alley employees. OHSA requires businesses with more than 10 employees to post the number of job-related injuries which occurred within the previous year.

Some states offer workers’ compensation through state-run programs. The state programs are available at a lower cost, for employers with few employee injuries or businesses in a low-risk industry.

Bowling alleys come with an increased risk of minor injury and may need to seek private insurance workers’ compensation coverage.

How Much Does Workers’ Compensation Cost?

The cost associated with workers’ compensation coverage will vary by state. The coverage is calculated based on the number of employees, the risk of injury, the number of prior workers’ compensation claims, and the total wages paid to employees.

On average, a bowling alley can expect to pay $1,350 for workers’ compensation coverage.

The Bottom Line

A bowling alley business can be a profitable business, and that success can be protected with the right insurance coverages. Purchasing the right Business Owners Policy Package ensures that your business can survive unforeseen events that could cost your business unanticipated expenses.

Here are the average annual costs for a bowling alley’s insurance coverage:

  • General Liability: up to $500
  • Business Property Insurance: $500-$1,000
  • Business Interruption: $500-$1,500
  • Inland Marine: $100-$300
  • Workers Compensation: $1,350

In total, a bowling alley may pay around $4,650 per year for insurance, depending on the size of the facility, property location, risk assessments, and types of coverages needed.

What Types of Insurance Does a Bowling Alley Need?

What Types of Insurance Does a Bowling Alley Need?

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