Climbing Liability


Original Post
Blakevan · · Dallas, TX · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 0

Does anyone know if, in general, a home owners policy would respond to any liability arising out of climbing? I know it will be state by state but just in general would one expect coverage to apply.

I just read about the dropped haul bag in Yosemite and wondered if the party that dropped the bag will be held liable for the damage to the poor dude it landed on. That got me thinking if an HO policy would respond and cover the liability, if any.

Tradster · · Phoenix, AZ · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 0

Generally, no. The injured party would sue in a civil court, but little chance the homeowner's policy will come into play. Injury did not happen at the person's residence. It may cover the lost haul bag, but maybe not.

SMarsh · · NY, NY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 3

I think you want an Umbrella Liability policy.

I don't know if every umbrella policy covers climbing, but it covers all the excess liability not covered elsewhere.

Generally, you can get umbrella policies large enough to cover claims that would otherwise be lodged against millions of dollars of assets/income.

Tradster · · Phoenix, AZ · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 0

You will typically need to have homeowners/rental and auto with the same carrier to get an umbrella policy. You will need to max your auto limits to 300K/500K before you can get an umbrella policy. If you have a less than perfect driving record, you may well be declined for the umbrella policy.

I have a $1 mill umbrella and it runs $220/annually premium wise.

Umbrella picks up after you've exhausted your limits on auto or homeowners/rental.

JohnnyG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 0

access fund has worked hard on this

check out recreational use statutes.

In NH, for example, landowners are not liable if a person gets hurt recreating on their land if he/she is doing one of the activities specifically listed on the states laws for recreational use.

Access fund worked to get climbing included. Yay access fund! it really opens up a LOT of land for climbing

Specifics for NH from wildlife.state.nh.us/landsh...

508:14 Landowner Liability Limited. –
I. An owner, occupant, or lessee of land, including the state or any political subdivision, who without charge permits any person to use land for recreational purposes or as a spectator of recreational activity, shall not be liable for personal injury or property damage in the absence of intentionally caused injury or damage.
II. Any individual, corporation, or other nonprofit legal entity, or any individual who performs services for a nonprofit entity, that constructs, maintains, or improves trails for public recreational use shall not be liable for personal injury or property damage in the absence of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
III. An owner of land who permits another person to gather the produce of the land under pick-your-own or cut-your-own arrangements, provided said person is not an employee of the landowner and notwithstanding that the person picking or cutting the produce may make remuneration for the produce to the landowner, shall not be liable for personal injury or property damage to any person in the absence of willful, wanton, or reckless conduct by such owner.

...
(c) "Outdoor recreational activity" means outdoor recreational pursuits including, but not limited to, hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, horseback riding, bicycling, water sports, winter sports, snowmobiling as defined in RSA 215-C:1, XV, operating an OHRV as defined in RSA 215-A:1, V, hiking, ice and rock climbing or bouldering, or sightseeing upon or removing fuel wood from the premises.

Blakevan · · Dallas, TX · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 0

Not a landowner but one climber to another so similar to a car crash or a dog biting someone.

Yes, I have an umbrella but it will only respond once underlying has been met.

Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 15

Per the haul bag example. Gross negligence must be proved which is impossible. Id stop worrying about it.

And no homeowners will not cover any of that.

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,128
Blakevan wrote:Does anyone know if, in general, a home owners policy would respond to any liability arising out of climbing? I know it will be state by state but just in general would one expect coverage to apply. I just read about the dropped haul bag in Yosemite and wondered if the party that dropped the bag will be held liable for the damage to the poor dude it landed on. That got me thinking if an HO policy would respond and cover the liability, if any.
The liability portion of a homeowners policy is typically designed to cover issues on the property. For example, if the mailman gets bit by your dog on your property and sues. It typically is not designed to cover claims that occur off the physical property or outside the general area. You would have to read the policy to be sure. Some type of umbrella or general commercial liability policy might cover this type of issue. However, your best insurance is just ensuring you dont drop haul bags on anyone and it has the added benefit of costing you zero dollars per year.
Klimbien · · St.George Orem Denver Vegas · Joined Apr 2009 · Points: 140

access fund has worked hard on this check out recreational use statutes. In NH, for example, landowners are not liable if a person gets hurt recreating on their land if he/she is doing one of the activities specifically listed on the states laws for recreational use. Access fund worked to get climbing included. Yay access fund! it really opens up a LOT of land for climbing Specifics for NH from wildlife.state.nh.us/landsh... 508:14 Landowner Liability Limited. – >

This is so good to know. I wish Hawaii could get this same legislation. I have been going to Kauai for years and hands down, my most favorite activity used to be a rope swing at Kipu falls,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZMYF9-Y2MA
but got shut down due to people suing the land owners for injuries.

Following to see if any new updates to this Yosemite issue come about.

20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,128
Klimbien wrote:I wish Hawaii could get this same legislation.
Hawaii has had a rec use statue since forever.

https://www.americanwhitewater.org/resources/repository/Hawaii_Recreational_Use_Statute.htm

§520-4. Liability of owner limited

Except as specifically recognized by or provided in section 520-6, an owner of land who either directly or indirectly invites or permits without charge any person to use such property for recreational purposes does not thereby:

(1) Extend any assurance that the premises are safe for any purpose.

(2) Confer upon such person the legal status of an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed.

(3) Assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to person or property caused by an act of omission or commission of such persons.


In short, if you're a private landowner and you open your land to recreational use without a fee, you cannot be held liable for accidental injuries or death. The state also has Act 82, which is now law, which absolves the state of liability in a few specific categories as long as the state posts signs warning of danger.
SMarsh · · NY, NY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 3

While the information about owner liability is interesting, I don't believe it addresses the original poster's question. When he mentioned "dropped haul bag", that to me says he's worried about third parties and partners of his climbing activities.

Still, the question goes back to insurance policies and reasonable care. I stand by my recommendation of umbrella liability policies. If you can afford to worry about liability, you can afford to choose to get insurance. And you don't always need to change all of your policies to get umbrella insurance, only whatever the company requires.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply