Nearly 150 million Americans engage in some type of outdoor recreational activity, according to a report by The Outdoor Foundation. These activities expose recreational enthusiasts to additional and often unique risks. Although recreational organizations (e.g., golf course, zip lining, stable, or hang gliding) have a better bargaining position when it comes to user agreements, individuals need not adopt an attitude of helplessness. By developing a proactive strategy for dealing with personal contractual risk transfers, outdoor enthusiasts can often reduce the amount of risk they assume.
Here are some ideas or tips to share with your clients who enjoy the great outdoors to ensure a greater likelihood of recourse in the event they are injured.
Ø The sports participant should verify that the recreational organization maintains a commercial general liability (CGL) policy providing coverage for bodily injuries. He or she should ask for a certificate of insurance indicating such protection.
Ø The sports enthusiast should reconsider signing release agreements in which the participant agrees not to sue the organization for any accident, even for situations involving the gross negligence or willful misconduct of the organization.
Below are additional tips to obtain protection for your clients from liability to third parties stemming from recreational activities.
Ø Golf cart accidents do occur. Golfers who rent carts should verify that they are automatically included as an additional insured under the golf course’s CGL policy. The additional insured—users of golf carts or a related endorsement is used for this purpose.
Ø Horse enthusiasts who frequent stables should verify that they are automatically included as an additional insured under the stable’s CGL policy. The additional insured—users of teams, draft, or saddle animals or a related endorsement provides valuable protection.
Ø The activities of social, civic, and recreational clubs may expose individual club members to liability. Activities of club members themselves, on behalf of the club, may likewise create a liability exposure. Thus, such members should verify that they are automatically included as an additional insured under the club’s CGL policy. The additional insured—club members or a related endorsement is used for this purpose.
Copyright 2008, 2016, International Risk Management Institute, Inc