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Is it possible to get ski insurance or ski liability insurance within the US?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I'm thinking of taking a ski trip within the US this year, probably out west for a week of on-trail.

My "freebie" travel insurance from the credit card only covers travel accidents, my health insurance  only covers injuries to me, and my car insurance only covers rentals.

While I intend to ski carefully and on-piste, I now have a wife and kid to think of in terms of financial responsibility. Is it possible to buy a policy anywhere that covers personal liability or a more general skiing policy?

I know some people have a general liability insurance through their life insurance or whole life insurance, but I don't have that yet and won't be able to get that before the trip. I've tried to look around and only see that sort of thing in the UK, which is strange since America is the land of the lawsuit.

Any tips would be appreciated.
post #2 of 17
I just had one thought.  Internationally there is no recourse, that I'm aware of, for someone to sue you and you to be liable to them. Now, if you are planning on doing something to take out someone and kill them, were charged with murder, then international law would allow you to be extradited to face charges and maybe then you would be in the country long enough to face a civil liability case too, but you wouldn't be making any money to speak of, so I don't know that it would serve any purpose them.  I do miss the Eddie the Eagle types from the UK though!

This is my two cents, I could be way off base.
Edited by lady_Salina - 1/24/10 at 6:41pm
post #3 of 17
Check with your insurance agent for the personal liability coverage that is part of your homeowners or renters policy.  Add umbrella liability coverage if you want more coverage in million dollar increments.

I feel that umbrella insurance should be about twice one's non-qualified retirement assets (assets that are not IRA, 401(k), etc).  In some cases you can lower your auto or homeowner's liability limits to the amount required by the umbrella policy and reduce your costs.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 

@Lady_Salina: I  might have not made it clear. I do live in the US, and thinking of going to ski in the US (rather than in Canada or Europe). If I was going out of the country I'd probably have to get a more comprehensive travel insurance policy that would include this.


My worry is that, say, I slip on ice or somehow lose control, hit someone below me, something bad happens, and get sued or litigated into backrupcy.

@SoftNow: Thanks for the tip. We don't really have a personal insurance agent but we'll ask at the place where we have our renters. I know it covers stuff in the home, maybe he sells something more general for liability outside the home.


 

post #5 of 17
Aaah lol.  Okay I thought (assumed - yes, and all it stands for), when you were looking for insurance in the US you were from elsewhere ).  I'd check the home owners.  I had renters and home owners insurance in Canada that covered all my ski gear when I traveled and gave me a 1 million liability if I was sued for any incident that happened.  My current US home owners policy does not cover such things though and when I enquired my agent seemed to think I was asking for something that didn't exist.  If you have any luck I'd be interested in knowing who you insure with and what coverage the offer.  I have not lived in the US for very long.
post #6 of 17
www.thebmc.co.uk the one i use year round wherever i go
post #7 of 17
You want "umbrella liability" insurance to cover this sort of thing.  It might be included in your homeowner's policy if you have one.

Quote:
My worry is that, say, I slip on ice or somehow lose control, hit someone below me, something bad happens, and get sued or litigated into backrupcy.

Legal details depend somewhat on where you're skiing, but yes, something like this could happen.  Normally, even if you are at fault, you would probably be limited to paying for actual medical costs, but even those can be pretty substantial.  Easily tens of thousands (USD) if someone has to go to the hospital and needs, say, knee or shoulder surgery, or treatement for a broken limb (and then rehab/pt/etc.)  If you and the injured party disagree on the responsibility for the accident, there would probably be a civil suit involved to sort it out.

IANAL, YMMV, etc. etc. 
post #8 of 17

www.xinsurance.com provides this exact coverage.

 

We can have quotes put together in 24-48 hours.

 

www.xinsurance.com

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

You want "umbrella liability" insurance to cover this sort of thing.  It might be included in your homeowner's policy if you have one.
 


Legal details depend somewhat on where you're skiing, but yes, something like this could happen.  Normally, even if you are at fault, you would probably be limited to paying for actual medical costs, but even those can be pretty substantial.  Easily tens of thousands (USD) if someone has to go to the hospital and needs, say, knee or shoulder surgery, or treatement for a broken limb (and then rehab/pt/etc.)  If you and the injured party disagree on the responsibility for the accident, there would probably be a civil suit involved to sort it out.

IANAL, YMMV, etc. etc. 


This was also my thought in response to the original question. You can typically add umbrella liability coverage to your homeowner's policy or (if you don't have a homeowner's or renter's policy) to your auto insurance.

 

The good news is that the additional premium is quite modest. The bad news (or good news, really) is that it's modest for a good reason: the liability risk is also quite modest. If you're a risk averse sort, you may well want to get it.

 

Actually, if you're really risk averse you should already have it. The risk of incurring liability in the course of 358 days of ordinary day-to-day activity must be much greater than the risk of incurring liability on a 7-day ski trip. This isn't based on anything like a full analysis, but it seems to me that the per-day liability risk of skiing might actually be lower than it is for more mundane activities (though the risk of personal injury to you is higher).

post #10 of 17

I have heard of XSI (Extreme Sports Insurance) is an option. I have not tried it but it may be worth looking into.

post #11 of 17

XSI is not like XINSURANCE, XINSURANCE is actual liability coverage. XSI is accidental liability coverage, covering you if you break your arm, leg, etc. XSI does offer liability coverage also through XINSURANCE. XINSURANCE can offer the accidental coverage also if you would like. But the actual liability cover if you where sued because you lost control and injured someone else sounds more like the coverage uricmu was looking for and that is what XINSURANCE provides.

post #12 of 17

You guys are silly-Do not get liability insurance unless you WANT to be sued. You get something that provides a lawyer some guaranteed income and they'll be lining up out the door to get some. I read an interesting piece by a tort attorney that the gist was, unless a lawyer can clear $100K, the case won't be worth pursuing. Lawyers typically get to keep 60% of the award and if the potential plantiff doesn't have over $250K of coverage, the lawyer would be in the "uncomfortable situation" of making more money than his client with an award. You hit another skier on a resort and the agency that gets sued IS the resort-because they have the deeper pockets. Don't get that "deep pocket" label for yourself. Most states have homestead laws that allow you to keep your house, your car, and a certain amount of assets. Your pension/401K is protected by the ERISA laws.

I consulted a lawyer about forming a FLLP when I got married-afterall, as a doc, I though I had enough assets to be worthy of protecting. I was advised then that one was not needed. If I don't need to jump thru special hoops to protect my assets in the event of a lawsuit and I am a member of a profession that is subject to lawsuits frequently, then there is no Bear on this forum that needs to do it, either

post #13 of 17

What I think is the correct point in this particular situation, I've already posted above, which is: liability insurance isn't necessary, or even highly valuable, in this situation, because the risk of liability isn't very high in this situation. Then again, though the value is fairly low, the cost is fairly low too, so maybe the OP wants to price some umbrella coverage.

 

The notion that one never should carry liability coverage because you can just walk away with your homestead exemption is dangerous and silly. Among other things to note:

The only way you're going to walk away without having your wages attached forever is by declaring bankruptcy. "Oh, sure, no big deal."

Homestead exemptions vary wildly, and don't protect much in many states.

Some of us, strange as it may seem, have quite a bit of assets that are "losable."

If you think liability insurance in general is a wae because you can just walk away from any liability with your homestead exemption, and that clever lawyers realize this ... then why do almost lawyers carry malpractice insurance?

post #14 of 17

I looked into an umbrella policy when I began Ski Patrolling.  My fear was getting sued and losing my house because somebodies kid got paralyzed or something and the court decided the patroller (me) must have done something wrong.  I didn't do it because the greedy insurance agent wanted policies on anything I owned that moved or floated before the umbrella policy could be written.  This included my fleet of kayaks, mountain bikes, and even my windsurfer.  When I talked with my attorney friends they told me that if I performed "to the level of my training" that I was protected by the good Samaritan law and therefore didn't need an umbrella policy.  They also told me that if I screwed up and exceeded my level of training OR failed to meet it that neither the Samaritan law nor the umbrella policy would help me.  The moral of the story seems to be don't screw up and don't train or know anything so that not much is expected from you.  It also helps if you don't own anything.

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by uricmu View Post

I'm thinking of taking a ski trip within the US this year, probably out west for a week of on-trail.

My "freebie" travel insurance from the credit card only covers travel accidents, my health insurance  only covers injuries to me, and my car insurance only covers rentals.

While I intend to ski carefully and on-piste, I now have a wife and kid to think of in terms of financial responsibility. Is it possible to buy a policy anywhere that covers personal liability or a more general skiing policy?

I know some people have a general liability insurance through their life insurance or whole life insurance, but I don't have that yet and won't be able to get that before the trip. I've tried to look around and only see that sort of thing in the UK, which is strange since America is the land of the lawsuit.

Any tips would be appreciated.
 


I believe a general liability insurance policy needs to specify what activities and where they are practiced. A do anything, anywhere you want liability policy isn't available to my knowledge, I do have a general liability policy, but its pretty specific as to what and where I am covered (it has nothing to do with skiing).

Before purchasing a liability policy I would check the "fine print carefully". I do believe if you are not practicing instructing/patrolling but are on vacation your homeowners policy offer's some liability coverage. All states homeowners policy's are different so check (ask your agent). If accident is caused by trail markings, snow/ice conditions, or other the accident will probably be the areas liability issues.

post #16 of 17

Homeowners' policies normally do have liability coverage, but it usually has a very low limit - hence the desire for an umbrella policy, which you can us to push the limit up into the millions.

 

Umbrella policies (and homeowners) usually start out as covering all liability, but then exclude various things. You have to read it to see whether something you're worried about is excluded. What's excluded is usually things that are particularly dangerous, or that you'd expect to be covered by specially-placed liability coverage (like professional liaiblity). Typically you also fill out a questionnaire when you take out the policy, and a mis-statement  there could form the basis for a denial of coverage.

post #17 of 17

XINSRUANCE can provide coverage for any exclusion in a policy. We advise you to look over any insurance policy you have in place. If there are any exclusion that bother you contact your agent or broker and see if they can include an endorsement in your policies that covers the exclusion. If they cannot then XINSURANCE can provide coverage for the exclusion or exclusion’s.

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