Usually the two most popular activities at a family fun center are miniature golf and go-karts. And amazingly enough, the most insurance claims are these two activities. So how can you work to keep your facility safe, keep the experience for your guests enjoyable and accident free?
Glad you asked! Having owned a family fun center with both of these activities I can speak from experience as an owner and an insurance agent. Good news travels slow, bad news about injuries travels fast, so let’s look at what you can do as an owner or manager to prevent these from happening. Continue reading “Is your miniature golf and go-kart facility safe, enjoyable and accident-free for your guests?”
Correctly insuring your family fun center is one of the most important issues you should address to protect yourself. We will review a few simple issues to address.
Let’s face it; today’s generation of children is becoming more and more dependent on technology such as iPads, smartphones & computers. How can Family Entertainment Centers compete with this? It’s hard enough for parent’s to get kids off of the couch & out of the digital world; let alone into your FEC center. In fact, in a study by Common Sense Media they found that 38% of kids under the age of 2 use tablets or smartphones and children up to the age of 8 are using tablets 5 times more than they were two years ago.
In an article by IAAPA’s “Fun World Magazine” they discuss some good ways that an FEC can remain relevant in this turbulent time of technology. Here are some of the things that they suggested (and also a few suggestions of our own):
- Create experiences at your FEC center that can’t be replicated at home. For example don’t just fill your Family Entertainment Center with Arcade video games…they can play those at home. Add basketball shoots, table hockey, laser tag anything to keep them challenged and having fun.
- Host competitions/tournaments to get them competing with their peers in the real world instead of just on the video game screen.
- Make sure your FEC is active on social media. Site’s such as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram to name a few are very popular with today’s youth and even older individuals as well.
- Having a website is a must. Your website should showcase all of the unique experiences your Family Entertainment Center has to offer. If it doesn’t look worth their time on the website they are less likely to take time out of their busy schedules to come and visit your center.
- Make “Family Days” with special promotions encouraging the entire family to come out to your FEC and spend some quality time together.
Funworld Magazine. “The Singapore FEC Market”. http://www.iaapa.org/news/funworld/funworld-magazine/the-singapore-fec-market
The Cut. “Study: 40 percent of kids use iPads before they can speak”. http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/10/40-percent-kids-use-ipads-before-speaking.html
Like every other amusement device, there are certain precautions that need to be taken to insure that participants driving the Go-karts at your Family Fun Park or Go Kart Track are as safe as possible. Accidents involving go karts can be especially serious;some incidents involve skull fractures & other broken bones, internal injuries and in some cases even death. There are many resources out there that can help you run a safe go kart track. We found one resource on the IAAPA website that had some important safety tips regarding long hair (& some other safety reminders):
1) You should have a maintenance staff that checks each day for any malfunctions with the go karts, safety signs & the track. (If you do not have safety signs it would probably be a good idea to post some.)
2) Your staff should be properly trained in all safety procedures and should also be trained to look out for guests with long hair. This is important since long hair can get caught in the moving parts of the go kart. The IAAPA article talks about how in 2012 a teenage girl lost 80% of her scalp from her hair getting caught in a go kart axle.
3) Hair ties should be kept on hand and if someone has long hair they should be instructed that it needs to be secured with a hair tie to prevent injury.
Some other safety tips include:
4) Having your guests wear helmets & seat belts.
5) Making sure the age/size regulations of the go kart are followed.
6) Not allowing go-karts to be driven during bad weather.
You can read the full article here: http://www.iaapa.org/resources/by-park-type/fec/go-kart-safety
Also remember that you need to have your go kart track insured because safety procedures alone are not always enough. Learn more about our Go Kart Insurance.
“Go-Kart Safety” by Mike Bederka | IAAPA Website | 2012 | http://www.iaapa.org/resources/by-park-type/fec/go-kart-safety
There has been a lot of severe weather throughout the country in 2013. Severe weather can often pop up without much warning; leaving those outdoors at risk of death or injury. So what can you do to protect customers using your inflatable devices outdoors or playing at your Family Entertainment Park? A recent article in IAAPA’s Fun World magazine called: “Severe Weather Safety” by Mike Bederka suggests that preparation is the best line of defense for severe weather events such as high winds, thunderstorms & lightning. (If you are an IAAPA member you can read the full article here.)
The article suggests many helpful tips to keeping customers safe from severe weather. One suggestion is having an employee responsible for keeping track of severe weather warnings and radar in the area and possibly even talking with local meteorologists about whether the FEC center should be closed down until the severe weather threat is over. In regards to inflatable devices, possible wind speeds should of course be taken into consideration. We have all seen news stories of bounce houses thrown through the air with children inside…these all could have been completely avoidable if weather forecasts & current weather conditions were monitored. Inflatables should not be used in winds exceeding 25mph and they of course need to be properly secured.
Another suggestion is to have a place to shelter people in case an unexpected storm pops up. Businesses should have a written safety plan in place and a specific shelter area in mind in the event that customers need to be evacuated. Operators should also be trained to shut down rides and deflate inflatables when severe weather or dark clouds appear.
The national weather service also has a helpful pamphlet that you can download here: www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/toolkits/large_venue8-12.doc#sthash.B6Z5ZGEk.dpuf This pamphlet outlines many of the suggestions talked about in the IAAPA article in more detail. It is important to remember that although closing down your business temporarily may lead to a short-term loss in revenue, customers will respect your concern for their safety which will increase their trust in you and your revenue in the long run.
“Severe Weather Safety: Preparation helps to prevent guest and staff injuries” by Mike Bederka | Funworld Magazine | July 2013 | http://www.iaapa.org/news/funworld/funworld-magazine/weather-safety
Family Entertainment Centers encompass a variety of different activities which means that a variety of coverage’s will be needed to insure that your FEC is properly covered. The same thing applies to many other types of businesses in the amusement industry such as inflatable rentals, paintball, sports etc.
1) The first type of insurance is a given for any type of business: General Liability Coverage. This type of coverage is usually a requirement for parks. General Liability coverage will protect your family entertainment center in case of bodily injury or property damage. The limits for these are usually $1,000,000 per occurrence / $2,000,000 aggregate but there are higher limits available.
2) Sexual Abuse/Molestation– Family Entertainment Centers deal with children on a constant basis. If the unspeakable happens the cost of defending your business and good name can be devastating.
3) Commercial Auto & Non-Owned Auto– If you fun center uses an automobile for business purposes you will most likely not be covered under your personal auto insurance.
4) Property Coverage or Inland Marine– Property Coverage offer protection to your property from fire, theft or vandals. Inland Marine Coverage protects your property when it is not on your premises.
5) Workers Compensation– Workers Comp is another coverage that is usually mandatory for fun parks. In fact in is mandatory for most businesses depending on what state you are located in.
Some Additional Coverage’s
Aside from these major coverage’s there are some other coverage’s that you may want to consider such as: Employee dishonesty, Sexual Abuse,/ Molestation, Assault /battery, Money inside/outside.
To learn more about our Family Entertainment Center Insurance visit us at: http://www.cossioinsurance.com/insurance/family-entertainment-center.html