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Why is it important to have personal liability insurance if you ski or snowboard?

Tyler Boschman, creative lead with Western Financial Group, takes to the slopes.

Skiing and snowboarding are enjoyable and popular winter sports but come with the risk of injury to you and others. A lawsuit could be brought against you if you are involved in an accident with another skier or snowboarder and you could be held liable for their injuries.

What if you injure someone while skiing or snowboarding?

If you are in an accident and injure another skier or snowboarder, they may claim that you were negligent and are responsible for their injury, resulting in a potentially lengthy legal process. Even if you are not found to be liable, the legal proceedings can be expensive.

Some examples of circumstances in which you may be found to have been negligent are:

  • You collided with someone ahead of you. Skiers and snowboarders ahead of you have the right of way and you must avoid running into them.
  • You were not in control and were not able to avoid other skiers or stop.
  • You left the scene of the accident.
  • You stopped where you were not visible or obstructed a trail.
  • You did not look up the hill and yield to skiers coming toward you before you merged onto a trail or started skiing downhill.

What if you break another person’s ski or snowboard gear?

Skiing and snowboarding equipment can be expensive and if you are involved in an accident you may find yourself having to replace someone’s ski or snowboard gear.

Who needs personal liability insurance?

Once you live on your own and are responsible for your actions, you need to think about personal liability insurance. You may think you do not have much to lose now, but if you are held liable for injury or property damage you could lose not only your current assets but future earnings through garnished wages. If your current assets are taken away it will become more difficult to obtain assets in the future.

How do I obtain personal liability insurance?

Your home insurance includes liability insurance but there are coverage limits. Adding personal umbrella liability insurance to your policy helps protect you from lawsuits that exceed the limits of your other policies.

What does personal umbrella liability insurance cover?

If you are involved in a lawsuit and the expenses exceed the limit of the liability insurance of your home insurance, your personal umbrella liability insurance will kick in. It comes in $1,000,000 increments.

Bodily injury

Your personal umbrella liability insurance policy will cover the cost of injuries to someone else.

Property damage

Your personal liability insurance will cover damage to someone else’s property.

Legal fees

Your policy will help cover your legal costs if legal action is taken against you.

Loss of income

If you are found liable for someone's injury and they are unable to work because of it, your personal liability insurance will help cover their lost income.


You may be ordered to pay the other person a settlement and this would be covered by your personal liability insurance.

Medical expenses

The injured person’s medical bills would be covered by your policy.

What other benefits are there to personal liability insurance?

Personal umbrella liability coverage protects you not only on the slopes but during your everyday activities. It will help cover liability claims against you when:

  • An incident happens in your home.
  • Others use your rental or recreational property (such as a cottage) or boat or snowmobile.
  • You participate in volunteer activities including condo boards.
  • You are traveling.
  • You are active in your community.

What is not covered by personal umbrella liability insurance?

Business activities

You need business insurance to have liability insurance for business-related activities.

Your own injuries or damage to your property

Personal liability insurance only covers property damage and injury to others, not to you.

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