EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Are ski injury claims subrogated by health insurers and other things I was wondering about binding indemnification
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Are ski injury claims subrogated by health insurers and other things I was wondering about binding indemnification

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Given that there is a whole indemnification system set up by binding manufacturers, does this mean that health insurers routinely try to collect on the claims they pay out on that result from ski injuries from these indemnification plans (the way that they would subrogate what they would pay out in a workplace accident from a workers comp fund?)? If not, does anyone actually ever sue Marker, Look, Tyrolia etc. after an injury?

 

If not, is this whole indemnification system really a way for insurance companies to make money by insuring the manufacturers who insure the ski shops who could not otherwise operate because no insurance company would otherwise insure them, thus making it impossible for them to do business?

 

If a ski shop does get sued, does this indemnification system step in to defend them all the way through litigation or just provide a fixed settlement?

 

How much does this whole insurance regime add to the cost of a pair of bindings?

post #2 of 8

It's just a scam to sell new bindings. Those old Salomon 777s are perfectly good. You just need new safety straps.

post #3 of 8

In general, indemnities wouldn't be geared around fixed settlements and would be accompanied by limitation of liability provisions.  Indemnification of the distribution/resale channel is in many ways to the advantage of the OEM (original equipment manufacturer), because as an OEM you don't typically want any third party settling a case that could set a precedent against you for future awards. By having an indemnification standard in place, the OEM can control the legal process, which is probably more important than any other factor for them.

 

The kinds of cases that would rise to the level of any viable legal action would seem to need to be around faulty design, or some sort of neglect or malfeasance, where the OEM could possibly have substantial liability, and again, the indemnity (if this is what is happening in practice) would protect both the retail seller and the OEM.

 

As to whether an insurance company could subrogate the claim to a binding manufacturer, I can't see how unless they are also proving faulty design, neglect, or some other liability standard.  My insurance company did not ask any questions about my injury last Spring.  They would have had to have gathered a lot of information from me in an attempt to subrogate the claim to the binding manufacturer's insurance company, who a) is probably a foreign company, and b) would be insane to provide what amounts to U.S. injury claim coverage.

 

I don't have any firsthand knowledge about the binding industry, but the type of liability mitigation you describe doesn't make any sense to me.  I think that it would be tremendously difficult to prove that the binding caused an injury in any situation, because all you have at the end of the incident is a released or un-released binding.  Plus, I imagine most states with major ski tourism industries have pretty tight laws ascribing the risk of skiing to the skier.  The "I got hurt using your product" claim will never get past the first read of the state statutes.

 

 

 

 

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinecure View Post

It's just a scam to sell new bindings. Those old Salomon 777s are perfectly good. You just need new safety straps.

I think it mostly this ^^ I've blown both my ACL's and was never asked what bindings I was using.
 

 

post #5 of 8

 

There are few binding options that might have protected your ACL -- my wife's insurance company didn't ask about bindings when they paid for her ACL damage.  

 

But is anyone aware of any insurance company asking about equipment after any skiing accident?  In the case of a broken leg, for instance (since standard binding technology is supposed to prevent them), has anyone ever been asked what binding was used?  

post #6 of 8

Slight twist to the general subject, but I'm always wondering when my health insurance company is going to decide not to cover ski injuries.

 

They already won't cover me if I get hurt car racing or bull riding, to name a few examples.  If I were hurt skiing, I don't think the insurance company currently asks me what binding I was on or what uber-gnar run I was on.  I do recall the only time I made a trip to the ski patrol shack for an injury, their questionnaire was rather long and did include such questions.

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAJ View Post

I think it mostly this ^^ I've blown both my ACL's and was never asked what bindings I was using.
 

 



Ummm. I was being sarcastic, mostly. And where I ski, they ask everyone what bindings they're on, check what the DIN was set to, and record all that info. Not sure what they do with the info. I'm sure there's a degree of enforced obsolescence, but for the most part, non-indemnified skis are probably classified that way for a good reason.

post #8 of 8

If you were to, say, go to your insurance company and tell them you got hurt because your binding pre-released, and you'd just gotten them adjusted at some local ski shop, then I would think the insurance company could be interested in looking into whether the shop screwed something up.

 

The 'indemnification' programs they have (from what I understand) cover shops against that kind of thing as long as they can show that they checked/adjusted the bindings according to the manufacturer's specifications.  Then the insurance company, basically, would have to sue the binding manufacturer, and that's very unlikely to go anywhere.

 

Quote:

Slight twist to the general subject, but I'm always wondering when my health insurance company is going to decide not to cover ski injuries.

 

They already won't cover me if I get hurt car racing or bull riding, to name a few examples.

 

Some of them aren't so crazy about mountain climbing, either.

 

Banning coverage on skiing would be a tough sell in areas where it is a popular sport.  Also, from a statistical perspective, it's fairly safe, so it's probably just not a big cost in general.  But it wouldn't totally surprise me if they charged higher premiums to skiers or other outdoor sports enthusiasts.

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