If you look forward to winter, you might be someone who enjoys snow and winter sports. Not everyone shares your enthusiasm as some see several months of drudgery, shoveling the driveway, and enduring short daylight hours. However, winter also means fresh snow and the opportunity to head to the slopes for some gravity-fed excitement on skis, snowboards, sleds, and toboggans. Before you actually make for the hills, you might want to make sure that you have your home insurance in order as you can be faced with some serious personal liability issues once you’re on the mountain.
Many winter sports have some inherent danger and most participants are aware of that. It’s not uncommon to see all sorts of warnings posted on the ski slopes and in very fine print on the back of your lift ticket. However, while these warnings are often meant to protect the ski resorts from liability imposed on them when you are injured, have you ever considered that you might be liable to others? According to a story by CBS Sacramento, a couple lawsuits were filed after skiers were injured by others skiing or snowboarding.
In these particular cases, the offending parties were young people from other countries and had no liability insurance or assets. Therefore, the injured people sued the resorts for fostering an environment that led to their injuries. You, on the other hand, will likely not be able to avoid personal liability if your activities cause injury to another person on the slopes. As a skier myself, I very much enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes from speeding down a steep hill with the cold wind in my face. Unfortunately, I don’t really enjoy when another skier unexpectedly crosses in front of me. On more than one occasion, I had to make a quick move to avoid a collision.
As the skier or snowboarder coming downhill, you must always be aware of your surroundings and those who may enter your path downhill from you. If you do cause injury to someone else, it can mean a serious personal injury claim. This is where your personal liability insurance can help protect you. Any claims against you for injury should be tendered to your home insurance company under the personal liability coverage section of your policy. Also remember that personal liability coverage is a key feature of renter’s policies as well, so it’s just as important for apartment dwellers to have insurance.
On the SkiSafety.com website, there is a listing of lawsuits and verdicts in skier collisions cases. Some of the figures cited are mind-boggling and should be plenty of incentive for you to ensure you have proper personal liability insurance before engaging in winter sports.
While you have likely always thought about the potential “dangers” of skiing, you probably have not given too much thought to what happens when you injure others, only if you are injured yourself. Just as your home insurance policy is coverage for damage to your home and also coverage for liability to others, you should think about your sports activities in the same way. By having a broader perspective on all of the potential dangers, you can protect yourself from injury and liability.