PCI: N.H. Bill Puts Responsibility Back in Skiers’ Hands

May 31, 2005

In a victory for the New Hampshire economy, HB 619, a bill that expands the responsibility of skiers and winter sport participants passed recently on a voice vote in the Senate. The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) worked closely with the ski industry in support of this legislation.

“With the continued growth of sports such as snowboarding, snowtubing and snow shoeing, this bill now requires participants of these activities to be held to the same standards and responsibilities that skiers have been held to for years,” said Frank O’Brien, regional vice president for PCI. “We are pleased this legislation is moving in the right direction and hope that the Governor will sign the bill as is.”

HB619 extends and modifies the duties and responsibilities of skiers and operators as they apply to winter sports. The bill enhances the original legislation, passed in 1979, to include additional winter activities such as extreme skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing and snow shoeing as inherently dangerous activities. The bill maintains that if a person participates in one of the named activities and sustains an injury as a result of the activity, through no negligence of the ski operator, the ski area operator is not liable for the damage.

“This bill is a victory for the ski industry, New Hampshire tourism and the insurance industry,” said O’Brien. “The ski industry will be able to maintain their economic momentum and not face increased insurance premium costs, New Hampshire tourism will not suffer a loss in patrons, and insurers will be able to provide a product with defined standards for recovery.”

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