Insurance Considerations
For Your Axe Throwing Business

Table of Contents

– Admitted vs. Non-Admitted Insurance
– Occurrence vs. Claims-Made General Liability Insurance

What Insurance Do I need? 
– General Liability Insurance
– Mobile Axe Throwing Insurance
– Umbrella Insurance
– Liquor Liability Insurance
– BYOB Insurance
– Accident Insurance
– Property Insurance
– Worker’s Compensation

Additional Considerations Regarding Insurance

What If I’m a WATL Member?

Important Guidelines

What’s The Cost? 

Want to Learn More?

Admitted vs. Non-Admitted Insurance

Admitted insurance is purchased from an insurance company that has been formally admitted to operate by the state in which it operates. They are subject to strict laws and regulations on the policies they provide. As such almost admitted general liability and property policies are generally the exact same. Their pricing is also regulated and as such, they cannot rip you off. Lastly, if an admitted insurance company becomes insolvent and you have a claim, the state regulatory body will pay for the covered loss you incur.

Non-admitted insurance companies are not licensed by the state and have flexibility in their coverage/policy forms and pricing. Therefore, it is important to be very careful on what you buy. The coverage a general liability policy provides with one insurance company may be completely different than the policy provided by another company. For example a policy may be written on a claims-made form and they may have very damaging exclusions on the policy that you should be aware of. Lastly, unlike an admitted insurance company, if an insurance company becomes insolvent, no state regulatory body will pay for any covered claims you incur. With that said, it is important to review the rating of the insurance company. is the official credit rating agency for insurance companies.

Occurrence vs. Claims-Made General Liability Insurance Policies

Most, if not all insurance in the axe throwing industry is non-admitted and as such you need to be very careful about what you purchase as every policy/contract is different and some have very damaging exclusions in the fine print.

General Liability policies can be written on either occurrence or a claims-made basis.  It is very important to understand the difference between the two.  The sought-after General Liability Policy form is written on an Occurrence Basis and not on a Claims-Made Basis. There are significant ramifications to purchasing a Claims-Made policy and we believe you should be aware of what it means as it can cause serious gaps in insurance and or hidden costs later down the line.

Occurrence: The sought-after form stamped, issued, and approved by Insurance Service Office Inc. in America is written on an Occurrence Basis.  If someone is injured today, but a lawsuit is not brought until a future date, say for example 10 years from now, the policy you had in force when the plaintiff was injured will cover the claim.  

 Claims-Made: Claims-Made policies are triggered by the filing of a claim.  If someone is injured today, but a lawsuit is not brought until a future date, the policy you have in place when the lawsuit is brought will cover the claim. The coverage a general liability policy provides with one insurance company may be completely different than the policy provided by another company. For example a policy may be written on a claims-made form (insert link) and they may have very damaging exclusions.

What insurance do I need?

There are plenty of risks that face a company.  The five main risks that most owners of Axe Throwing Venues are concerned with are listed below: 

  1. General Liability (bodily injury and property damage to other people) 
  2. Umbrella
  3. Accident Insurance (medical expense “Go Away” money)
  4. Liquor Liability (if you sell alcohol)
  5. Property Insurance
    • Building (if you own it)
    • Build-out (construction you had added)
    • Contents (Stuff inside)
    • Business Income/Extra Expense (pays out lost income and expenses in the event you are shut down)
    • Plate glass (front windows)
    • Outdoor Signs
    • Equipment Breakdown
  6. Workers Compensation (protects your employees if they are hurt on the job and is required by law in almost every state the minute you hire your first employee). 

There are many other exposures from an insurance perspective, and it is our goal to review these with you in due time to help you make an educated decision for yourself.  These exposures include but are not limited to:  

  • Crime (Theft of Money)
  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance (i.e., allegations of age, sexual and racism discrimination, and wrongful termination)
  • Sexual Abuse and Molestation
  • Assault and Battery
  • Directors and Officers Liability Insurance
  • Employee Benefits Liability
  • Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability and
  • Cyber/Data Breach Insurance. 

If you are in a partnership or have a significant employee that would cause major disruption to the operation of your business should they pass, you may consider a Key Person Life Insurance Policy. If that person passes away, the policy would pay out to you as the policyholder, allowing you to help the deceased’s family, and providing funds to hire or train a replacement right away.  

General Liability

General Liability insurance typically will cover your business for bodily injury and property damage resulting from your products, the services you provide, or operations that you perform.  It is extremely important to ensure that the insurance company that you are insured by is in the business of covering bodily injury from axe-throwing range activities and it does not limit or exclude participants from throwing axes (yes those exist, and a close reading of policy forms is EXTREMELY important). 

What are standard GL limits? A standard GL policy comes with $1M in coverage per Occurrence and $2M in General Aggregate.  (i.e. If I throw an axe and it were to hit three people, that is one occurrence.  The most one occurrence will pay for all three lawsuits is $1M and in total for all occurrences the most your policy pay in total throughout the entire year is $2M). 

**Please also please refer to our article on the differences between a Claims Made Policy Form and an Occurrence Based Policy form as this can make a significant impact on the coverage you have.  Please note many leases do not allow for Claims Made policies.  There are many people in our position selling these online and we believe it is important for you to understand the difference as one is not the approved Insurance Services Office Inc. Policy in America and can pose significant risks.  

Occurrence: The sought-after form stamped, issued, and approved by Insurance Service Office Inc. in America is written on an Occurrence Basis.  If someone is injured today, but a lawsuit is not brought until a future date, say for example 10 years from now, the policy you had in force when the plaintiff was injured will cover the claim.  

Claims-Made: Claims-Made policies are triggered by the filing of a claim.  If someone is injured today, but a lawsuit is not brought until a future date, the policy you have in place when the lawsuit is brought will cover the claim.

Mobile Axe Throwing Insurance

A standard General Liability Policy in this industry typically will limit coverage to a designated location.  We do have the ability to quote you a liability policy at an affordable rate to provide coverage that will follow you off-site to designated premises, thereby allowing for mobile axe throwing insurance.  This can be obtained in conjunction with a brick and mortar or on a stand-alone basis.

Umbrella Insurance

An Umbrella is a misconstrued term in America.  People often think I have an umbrella, I am covered for anything that goes wrong.  That is totally false as all an Umbrella does is provide higher liability limits.  For example, if you purchase a $1M umbrella your GL limits now become $2M per occurrence and $3M in general aggregate or if you purchase a $5M Umbrella, your limits become $6M per occurrence and $7M in general aggregate.

Liquor Liability Insurance

Liquor liability insurance helps protect businesses that sell, serve or distribute alcohol. This type of business insurance can help cover claims of bodily injury or property damage that an intoxicated customer causes after a company served them alcohol. Some insurance companies can package (offer this) on the same policy as your General Liability, and others cannot. It is typically always more affordable to package this coverage together with General Liability as typically, when you have to get another insurance company involved, they will want to get their monies worth; whereas if you can package it with General Liability since the GL carrier is already making $X from you, they can charge less for liquor liability (Note there are minimums costs to every insurance company in that it is not worth them risking $1M in coverage unless they make $X amount of money).

BYOB Insurance

BYOB is actually a very specific paragraph found within the General Liability Policy Form.  Some insurance companies do exclude this language and it is extremely important to ensure you are correctly covered from a contractual standpoint.  We often see venue owners/operators that believe they are covered for BYOB, but actually have an exclusion for it. 

Accident Insurance

Our team highly values accident insurance.  General Liability covers bodily injury or property damage to others, but it typically requires a party to call a lawyer and sue you for the policy to kick in.  A customer that gets hurt in your venue is the one that will be going to the hospital and incurring medical bills, not the venue owners.  Unfortunately, we live in a very litigious environment here in the USA in which people are more prone to calling every lawyer in the phone book.  Lawyers in turn do not ask for $5K of medical bills, but rather $1M in mental anguish lawsuits.  The intent of an accident policy is to provide a limit for no-fault medical expense “go away” money to cover medical expenses of hurt customers to prevent them from calling lawyers.  If they still call a lawyer, your General Liability policy should respond, but the purpose is to attempt to deter lawyers from being called.  We believe this is one of the biggest keys to your business being fully covered.

  • Building Coverage: The structure of the building.  This is typically only insured when a party actually owns the building.
  • Build-Out (Betterments and Improvements): usually considered to be any improvement a unit owner makes to their unit after purchase that improves its value. Betterments and\ improvements are typically new fixtures, alterations, or installations.  This is typically for renters who add construction to the unit.  When you own the building, this value is typically included in the building coverage.
  • Contents (Business Personal Property): This covers the equipment, furniture, fixtures, and inventory that you own, use or rent inside your venue.  Imagine you flip your building upside down, anything that falls out.  
  • Outdoor Sign: Outdoor signs typically need to be specifically added on and are not covered by contents or build-out.
  • Plate-Glass: The breakage of front windows in a venue that you rent (if your landlord holds you responsible) can also be scheduled on your property policy.
  • Equipment Breakdown: Equipment breakdown coverage is an optional part of a business insurance policy that may help pay for the costs of repairing or replacing damaged or broken-down equipment after a covered incident. Equipment breakdown insurance may help cover equipment that’s necessary to keep your business running, such as boilers and machinery, or even office air conditioning, computers, and security systems.
  • Business Income/Extra Expense (Business Interruption Coverage): Business Income and Extra Expense Insurance (BIEE) provides coverage when your business shuts down temporarily due to a fire or other covered loss. It helps replace your income and covers expenses like rent, payroll, and other financial responsibilities while your property is being repaired or replaced.  
  • Inland Marine (Mobile Trailer): This is coverage to protect property in transit (think mobile axe throwing trailer)

Some types of insurance are required by law or by contract, while many others are important simply because they protect a company from financial distress. Insurance reduces potential liabilities and increases enterprise value, which allows a company to continue to grow and thrive. 

While general liability insurance policies typically cover you and your company for claims involving bodily injuries and property damage resulting from your products, services, or operations, Workers’ Compensation is a form of employer insurance coverage that pays benefits to workers who are injured or become disabled as a result of their job. Workers’ Compensation is required by law in almost every state the minute you hire an employee.

Additional Considerations Regarding Insurance

1. Crime: The definition of property or contents does not include cash or money and securities.  If you are concerned about employees or third parties stealing money from you, we would highly advise adding crime insurance to your policy.  You can obtain all various limits.

2. Employment Practices Liability: Employment Practice Insurance can typically protect a company against allegations and potential damages from:

    • wrongful dismissal, discharge, or termination of employment;
    • breach of a written or oral employment contract or implied employment contract;
    • employment-related misrepresentation;
    • wrongful failure to promote;
    • violation of employment discrimination laws (including harassment);
    • wrongful deprivation of a career opportunity;
    • employment-related wrongful discipline;
    • negligent employee evaluation;
    • employment-related invasion of privacy;
    • employment-related defamation (including libel and slander);
    • sexual or workplace harassment of any kind;
    • constructive discharge of employment;
    • employment-related Retaliation;
    • employment-related humiliation;
    • wrongful demotion;
    • negligent reassignment;
    • violation of any federal, state, or local civil rights laws;
(A corporate veil will typically not protect a company against an Employment Practice Act Violation; i.e. meaning you can be sued personally)

3. Sexual Abuse and Molestation: An injury arising out of actual or threatened abuse or molestation by anyone of any person while in the care, custody or control of any insured.

4. Assault and Battery: Assault and Battery can include situations such as the failure to promote a safe environment or the b Assault is an intentional threat causing fear of imminent harm, while battery is the physical act of harming someone. Although assault & battery sounds extremely violent, it can refer to milder cases. Businesses need assault & battery coverage for protection from the actions of employees or patrons from property damage or bodily injury.  I.e. think of two people fist fighting and then they blame you for not promoting a safe environment or the bouncer harming a patron.

5. Directors and Officers Insurance: protects the personal assets of corporate directors and officers, and their spouses, in the event they are personally sued by employees, vendors, competitors, investors, customers, or other parties, for actual or alleged wrongful acts in managing a company.  I.e. with investors, maybe you are taking an investment from a party for your venue and the business fails.  The investor may allege that you mismanaged the company and sue for their investment back.

6. Employee Benefits: insurance that covers businesses from errors and omissions that occur when employee benefit plans are administered.  I.e. you provide your employees’ health insurance and somehow screw that up.

7. Hired and Non-Owned Auto Liability: Liability (bodily injury or property damage) for vehicles used for business purposes that are not owned by your business (i.e. you driving your own car, your significant other drives their car, or “Bob” the employee drives his car) and gets into an accident.  Whoever he hits may be able to sue your business since they were doing work on your behalf. 

8. Cyber Insurance/Data Breach: Cyber insurance generally covers your business’s liability for a data breach involving sensitive customer information, such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, account numbers, driver’s license numbers, and health records.

Do you have to be a WATL or WKTL member to be insured with you, and do you offer discounts for WATL members?

You do not have to be a WATL member to work with us, but we do have exclusive discounts offered by one of the premier insurance companies in the industry if you are a WATL or WKTL member, which are only available for our firm.

What are important guidelines for setting up an axe-throwing venue that we should be following from an insurance perspective?

Listed below are some important guidelines that we have seen insurance companies examine when evaluating the risk of your business.  These include, but are not limited to:

-Age:  Insurance companies typically like to see 10 and up, but often will allow participants as low as 8.

-Waivers: It is typically necessary for all participants to sign waivers

-Following Industry Protocols: You must follow set industry protocols/guidelines as set forth by the WATL or other recognized leagues in how you set up your venue 

-Supervisors to Lanes: Insurance companies typically like to see at least one supervisor for every two lanes (each lane typically has two targets) or one supervisor for every four targets.

-First Aid Certification: Insurance companies typically want to see supervisors first aid certified

-Mobile Axe Throwing Set-Up: Any mobile axe throwing set-ups must be enclosed on the top, sides, and behind the target to ensure no axes can go flying into crowds of people.  Free-standing targets are typically not acceptable

-Alcohol Guidelines: It is imperative if you are selling, serving, or furnishing alcoholic beverages that any server is trained in TIPS or TAM or equivalent alcohol awareness training program.  This also applies to coverage for BYOB. 

-Weapons Other Than Axes: Every insurance company has different criteria for what they are willing to allow and what they are not.  For example, some insurance companies and contracts will allow for mobile axe throwing and others do not, some allow for BYOB and others do not and some allow for certain weapons and others do not.  We have the ability to provide coverages for other weapons including, but not limited to: Knives, Stars, Shovels, Spears, etc., but it is extremely important to ensure you have the appropriate coverage before you start throwing any weapon as they are not necessarily just included as part of your coverage.  It is extremely important to work with your agent and insurance company to ensure you are appropriately covered.

What costs am I looking at?

There is no set cost for insurance as it is dependent on many factors (i.e. location, alcohol situation, activities taking place, size of the business, property insured, etc.).  

To obtain an in-depth consultation, please schedule a 30-minute phone conversation using the link below:

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Thank you so much for taking the time to review this information!  We hope this provides valuable insight to help you further your upcoming business!  Please do not forget to schedule an at-length call with our team using the link to the calendar below.