Public lake ski course liability

skimtbskimtb Posts: 532 Crazy Baller
edited January 24 in News & Other Stuff
Looking to see what everyone is doing for this.
As the course owner / installer / person in charge....
Need “name responsible” for the permit.

Apply for permit in your name and cross fingers?
Start up a LLC or non-profit ski club and apply in their name?
Just wait for the paintball course to be available? (That’s a joke in this example, although looks cool and would like to try it)


  • jcampjcamp Posts: 953 Mega Baller
    Another option is to have your AWSA club (or start a new one just for this purpose) be the name on the permit. It is debatable how good the actual insurance is, but if you NEED to put a name on it, it will work and would be better than your own name.
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,403 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    My course was always my course. My insurance agent told me my homeowners policy would cover me “the first time.” Still waiting for that first claim. Moreover, even with USAWS coverage, the boat policy is still the primary policy with USAWS coming in as excess. If you are really concerned, pm me and I’ll put you directly in touch with
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • NandoNando Posts: 594 Crazy Baller
    I have a $2M umbrella liability policy that covers the course, as well as other liabilities, like (my fear) that some neighborhood kid would wander out on my dock, fall in, and drown, or other lake-related things. It's cheap- a few hundred $ per year tacked onto my homeowners policy. We used to have a club and get insurance through AWSA, but discussed it with my agent and he said he could provide better coverage for less.
  • jhughesjhughes Posts: 1,148 Mega Baller
    edited March 2019
    Has any course owner ever been sued for a course injury? How would they even know who owns it? Blindly yelling in all directions in the middle of the course "WHO OWNS THIS THING?" I'm wondering how realistic this fear really is.

    Can you imagine some deep "whodunnit" police investigation looking for finger prints on the PVC? Asking around and putting ski boat owners on polygraphs?
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,325 Mega Baller
    Here is the language on our Michigan course permit application. Notice the part about indemnification. That means the permit holder is assuming liability in place of the State of Michigan.

    By the way, I also carry an umbrella liability policy.

    LIABILITY - Grantee hereby releases, waives, discharges and covenants not to sue the State of Michigan, its departments, officers, employees and agents, from any and all liability to Grantee, its officers, employees and agents, for all losses, injury, death or damage, and any claims or demands thereto, on account of injury to person or property, or resulting in death of Grantee, its officers, employees or agents, in reference to the activities authorized by this permit.

    INDEMNIFICATION - Grantee hereby covenants and agrees to indemnify and save harmless, the State of Michigan, its departments, officers, employees and agents, from any and all claims and demands, for all loss, injury, death or damage, that any person or entity may have or make, in any manner, arising out of any occurrence related to (1) issuance of this permit; (2) the activities authorized by this permit; and (3) the use or occupancy of the premises which are the subject of this permit by the Grantee, its employees, contractors, or its authorized representatives.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,325 Mega Baller
    @jhughes, I would assume that it would be relatively easy to identify the permit holder for a course. The sheriff patrol on our lake was aware of mine. Anyone wanting to know whose course was there would only need to ask them.

    As for an non-permitted course, that might be tougher to identify the actual owner. I would bet they would be able to do enough investigation to issue a ticket. The course can't install itself and there may be witnesses of the installation.

    Proving it all in a court of law may be tougher yet, but I would venture to guess not impossible.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • skimtbskimtb Posts: 532 Crazy Baller
    edited March 2019
    @jhughes - agree that likelyhood is low and maybe has never happened or been publicized. Question still exists though.

    Also agree w @MISkier that finding permit owner would be very easy. Quick call to DNR with lake name and county it is in.

    Umbrella seems like a good way to go.

    AWSA is more of a challenge due to driver requirements and other rules. Keeping in mind this is a low key / public lake course, not a “club” lake with same group of people skiing and driving.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 4,968 Mega Baller
    The question being usually boat operators usually are liable for collisions/strikes with bouys. Which are usually treated as rightfully there
  • NandoNando Posts: 594 Crazy Baller
    I've never heard of anyone being sued, but... I used to work for a county that required half a million in coverage, with the county being named as co-insured. We tried to convince the county attorney to remove that provision, but she wouldn't budge. The guys I ski with, with courses in that county, say it didn't cost any more than insuring themselves, which surprised me.
  • pcmcon729pcmcon729 Posts: 95 Baller
    I'm guessing USAWS might have some answers for us? I have always worried about this, as I too have a privately owned course on a semi-private lake.
  • Robbo5252Robbo5252 Posts: 38 Baller
    Unsure of US Laws but in Australia, if you had an UN-permitted course, it wouldn't matter how good your Liability policy was because you are breaking the law which is a flat exclusion. Just something to be aware of.
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