The Slippery Slope (Insurance Fears = No More Sledding)

And nntrdisyky
now, a new feature I think we’ll call the Liability Chronicles, chronicling the way insurance, lawsuits, lawyers and the fear of all three are changing the world. Starting with winter. We are the first generation of hominids to be scared to have normal winter fun. – L.
Dear Free-Range Kids: Our local ski resort, Ski Granby Ranch, used to have this amazing sled hill which anybody of all ages could use.  My husband and I would take our son there all the time over the winter. Well, this year they got rid of it, and here’s the response when I asked about it.  I asked to see how many actual incidents there were, and I’m still waiting for a response.
“After much deliberation, the decision was made to not operate the sledding hill at Ski Granby Ranch. We recognize that the sledding hill was a much liked activity and enjoyed by many. Due to the potential risk to the guests and the associated liability exposure to the company, our legal and insurance counsel recommended we not operate the sledding hill. We are following suit of most other Colorado ski areas in not allowing sledding to ultimately ensure a safe experience for our guests. We share in the collective disappointment of not being able to offer this activity. We do look forward to continuing to offer a snow play area for our younger guests.”
Lenore here. Incredible that everyone’s disappointed, from the patrons to the owners, who clearly sense that they can’t fight their  insurance company. But it’s the phrase “ultimately ensure a safe experience for our guests” that sends a non-winter-induced shiver up my spine. To “ultimately” ensure a safe experience, won’t the resort have to eliminate skiing at some point? Or even parking in a lot where some ice may form? Where does “ultimately” ultimately lead? And the bigger question I must ask, because I truly don’t have the answer, is: How do we stop insurance creep from taking every last eentsy bit of risk out of life, which means taking all the life out of life? – L 

Kindly walk your sled down the hill.

53 Responses to The Slippery Slope (Insurance Fears = No More Sledding)

  1. JJ December 12, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    Sledding riskier than skiing? I can’t imagine so.

  2. Meagan December 12, 2012 at 8:32 am #

    There was a recent article (I’d find it, but I don’t have a clue where to start) about the rise of “adventure” playgrounds and how they aren’t as dangerous (to lawsuit) as you would expect them to be. The key to allowing risks is apparently to post signs advising “correct” play. Maybe this reader should contact the ski company suggesting they ask their insurance about a sign that advices safe sledding, and tells sledders that they do so at their own risk. Maybe they won’t bother, and maybe their insurance company will laugh at them, but it doesn’t hurt to try. I’ll try to find the article now.

  3. Meagan December 12, 2012 at 8:39 am #

    Here it is!
    And the relevant quote:

    “”It turns out the trick to avoiding liability lawsuits had as much to do with adequate signage as it did the available play equipment.

    Johnson said that as long as parks adequately advertise safe uses for equipment, personal injury lawsuits dry up. That has led to a trend for more adventurous park equipment, like climbing walls, skate parks and Saratoga Springs’ 30-foot pyramid.”

    (hat tip Daddy Types where I found the article linked)

  4. Becca in Alaska December 12, 2012 at 8:40 am #

    When did sledding become more dangerous than skiing?

  5. Leppi December 12, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    It is interesting, it seem like none these “spoil-sport” insurance people are working for food-companies.

    The “ultimately ensure a safe experience for our guests” or clients is not really guarantied when eating junk-food, sweats etc. Consumed regularly that stuff can cause serious danger to you health. Longterm of cause, but maybe that is part of the problem, the lack of seeing the issue in context and longterm.

  6. Bridget December 12, 2012 at 9:05 am #

    Cuz skiing is sooooooo low risk!

  7. Andy December 12, 2012 at 9:11 am #

    @JJ We can safely guess that liability insurance is usually paid from sold ski tickets. Sledging tend to be free – no additional money for insurance.

    Plus, liability when offering ski service is well-known thing. Layers know what exactly makes you liable, how to protect against it and can guess what the jury would decide.

    Guessing outcome of sledging injury negotiation or lawsuit can be much harder to guess. You may have to pay a little or destructively a lot – so the insurance company just avoids it.

  8. Nanci December 12, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    I know I have mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again. We have a wonderful place in the St. Louis area called The City Museum. It is probably the most dangerous place I’ve been. My kids and I have all left with many bruises over the years, once my son cut his head and we had to throw away his blood soaked shirt. They do NOT have any waivers to sign! They stand up for all free range kids stands for. At the City Museum you are free to do whatever you want. Basically you crawl, or slither, in darkness through mazes of metal and concrete, it’s AWESOME! The creator was very against any kind of regulation at all. A couple of years ago after they had been hit with some frivolous lawsuits they put up a cool display in the lobby. It featured a dummy in stocks with the face of a very prominent injury lawyer on it! If anyone comes to the St. Louis area check out the City Museum, you can’t miss it, it’s the only downtown building with a working ferris wheel on the room and airplanes suspended 40 feet in the air out front (yes you can climb in and over the planes!).

  9. Nanci December 12, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    Oops, ferris wheel is on the roof, not room!

  10. Sarah in WA December 12, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    So, if someone were to, say, sled down the hill anyway, what would happen? Would a ski resort employee yell at them? Would they simply throw up their hands and say, “We told you not to do that! It’s on you if anything happens.”?

    I’m definitely no lawyer, but I don’t understand why facilities and businesses are expected to take all the blame when something happens that is clearly the person’s own fault. If I went sledding and somehow broke a bone, I would say, “Oh man!”, get treated, and go home. I would not say, “Well, it’s their fault for having a hill!” No one forced me to go sledding.

    No one wants to take responsibility for themselves, so businesses don’t want to take responsibility for others. These are the consequences of too much litigation. 🙁

  11. SP December 12, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Sarah in WA, the problem isn’t necessarily the resort. My kids have broken bones on two different playgrounds, one at a church, one at a city park. Our medical insurance tried to find someone to pay the bill. We fought both times, the whole reason we have health insurance is because kids fall and get hurt. Not because the playgrounds weren’t safe, both were just flukes where they landed funny. So even people who would take responsibility for their own risks if they get hurt might not have control if they have to receive medical care. Its awful, and I can’t see it getting better.

  12. Josh S December 12, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    A) It’s not about danger–it’s about risk. Specifically, the risk of the ski park having to pay money to someone who sues them (whether in settlement or in judgement against them).

    When you buy a lift ticket, there is probably a limitation-of-liability clause on there somewhere that says that you don’t hold the ski park liable for injury/death. So for everyone asking “Isn’t skiing more dangerous than sledding?” the answer is Yes, but the people who ski have limited their ability to cause financial damage to the ski park, and limited its risk in the process. The sledders presumably do NOT limit their risk, and so there’s a big question mark as to the amount of risk the ski park is taking, which is what makes the insurance company nuts.

    B) The children. Won’t *some*body think of the children!? /snark
    Because the kids are going to be the ones using the sledding hill more than the adults, the possibility (however small) of a kid getting significantly injured/killed could mean BIG MONEY payouts in a lawsuit. Juries pay out big when kids get injured. So that’s another reason that the insurance company would freak out about the risk of having to pay out a big claim.

    The thing to remember in all this is that insurance companies are all about limiting and spreading out the RISK. So to the extent that they can limit risk without damaging the business model of a place, they are likely to do so. And the business is faced with the proposition of “If you lower your risk by doing _______, we’ll lower the cost of your insurance. But if you keep on doing _______, we’ll raise the price of your insurance, potentially harming your profits and even forcing you to close down.”

    No, from a rational 3rd party standpoint, this doesn’t make sense. There *is* some level of acceptable risk. But from a risk management standpoint (ie the insurance company), they have no incentive to allow even a bit of unnecessary risk.

  13. Michelle December 12, 2012 at 11:04 am #

    I know at our ski resorts when we buy a lift ticket or season pass, we have to sign a waiver saying we know skiing is dangerous and we might get hurt. I’m sure that won’t stop people from suing though since apparently that’s the “new thing” these days.

  14. Susan Kuhn December 12, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    What if the ski resort charged you for an all-season family sledding pass (nominal, say $10) and you had to sign the same liability-release language. What if then the signage on the hill said only passholders are allowed to sled. Is there a solution in this line of thinking?

  15. DJ December 12, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    I agree with SP. When my son got a huge gash and had to have stitches, the insurance company asked a lot of questions to see if they could put the blame (and therefore the cost) on someone else or on a business location.

    They didn’t end up persuing it. Maybe because I was persuasive, maybe because it cost less than our (high) deductible, maybe because it happened at church, who knows!

  16. Sheri December 12, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    When my family was in Jamaica, we hopped on a boat and went to this wonderful bay that glows translucent when the water is moved because of a natural microorganism that lives in the brackish water. On the boat, we sat on the side rails from our resort the the bay at which point the guides said…jump out and swim (in this amazing natural wonder) or we’ll throw you in. 🙂 We didn’t even have life jackets…gasp! Fast forward to my sister who went to a similar place in Puerto Rico….they had to calmly board the boat, sit in proper seat, fully fitted with life jacket and were shuffled to the bay to peer over the side while a trained diver and expert swimmer swam in the water to SHOW them this amazing natural phenomenon. Puerto Rico, being part of the US, was much more risk averse —– Guess who had the better experience….and my sister is still bitter. — what does this have to do with sledding? Nothing other than we, in the US, are idiots. 😉

  17. Sheri December 12, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    DJ – my son broke his arm at home – had to have surgery and a night in the hospital. The insurance company was a monster about trying to find SOMEONE else, anyone else to put the blame. We had to fill out tons of paperwork dealing with WHERE the accident happened. It was nuts.

  18. Scott December 12, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Seems like the issue is that skiers pay entry fees, sign waivers (or implied on back of lift tickets). Ski areas pay staff to man the lift, check the area each morning, put up fences on closed trails, maintain ski patrol, have an emergency plan with ambulances and maybe even medevac on call. Don’t forget how “regulated” the equipment is too. Ever try to have old ski bindings adjusted by a shop?

    I suspect insurance companies study this situation, decide there are enough precautions in place, and agree to insure it.

    When they see an unregulated hill. Random equipment. And they just can’t get their arms around it.

    Skiing may be more dangerous than sledding, but insurance companies “feel” like they understand it and manage the risk.

    I don’t agree, but I think this is the root of the problem. Also, if the sledding isn’t very profitable, that’s another factor.

  19. Warren December 12, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    I am sorry, but for all those who think our health care system in Ontario, sucks, it doesn’t. Your kid gets hurt sledding, you take him/her in. Treated and out, none of this insurance crap, questions, and blame game.

    Until you get the laws changed, to the point where if you are sledding, and get hurt, it isn;t the hill owners responsiblility, things are only goin to get worse.

  20. Lollipoplover December 12, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Last year, my children watched in horror as their dentist got launched into the air (but caught by protective netting) on a ski resort approved snow tubing run at Bear Creek. Granted the conditions were pretty icy, but the “safer” choice, the individual, straight runs(they don’t allow free sledding here either) shot a large man completely off the hill and into the air like a sling shot. They had to pry our dentist out of the netting and he was yelling and screaming. I laughed so hard the tears ran down my legs. He was not hurt but suffered severe wounded pride.

    The biggest “danger” with sledding is collisions. That’s why good hills are usually free of trees and have enough space at the bottom for slowing down. Kids collide into each other too. Yes, it would be nice if they’d go straight and time their runs so they didn’t crash, but sometimes the sled goes a different way.
    Some kids (and adults) find crashes and other mishaps hilariously fun and part of the experience. Why is America’s Funniest Videos still so popular?

  21. jen December 12, 2012 at 11:54 am #

    Have to defend the ski resort here. I feel for them. I’ve found in general ski resorts are one of the last bastions of institutionalized kid empowerment. We’re rabid skiers and I am always so grateful to have a family activity to turn to where my older kids can go off on the mountain on their own and my 5 YO is placed on the chairlift with another 5 YO by their ski group instructor (makes her so proud and independent!). The informal sledding hill doesn’t have the ski-ticket-sign-your-life-away mechanism built into it, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they found themselves to be uninsurable if they kept it open. My father is president of an HOA in a lakeside community, and this summer they were forced to remove the diving board from their community beach raft. They could not, no matter where they looked, find an insurance company who would cover them with a diving board regardless of how much they were willing/able to pay (and this is in “live free or die” NH). It sucks. But it’s not the resort’s fault.

  22. Koren December 12, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    “The Liability Chronicles” is well coined for this feature. I have long thought that it’s not just the organizations that take the fun away and the insurance, lawsuits and lawyers that are the problem. I thought the problem lay with the ones who have the accidents and see how they can benefit monetarily from seeing themselves as victims; THE PEOPLE WHO HIRE THE LAWYERS. I do, however, live in Canada, where health care is free, therefore I never considered that insurance companies were so blame-thirsty. All these comments have been educational for me.
    Lenore, thanks for your apt caption; “Kindly walk your sled down the hill.” You’re a hoot!

  23. Andrew December 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    Let them sled. But this is sobering:

    Accidents – sometimes fatal ones – will happen.

  24. North of 49 December 12, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    No sledding hill? But but but but but but…. What am I supposed to do when the family goes to the ski hill? I don’t ski. I guess I’ll just be sipping cocoa in the lodge or some tripe like that.

  25. Kim December 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    Would LOVE if the signs worked at schools too. Our school doesn’t want kids playing on equipment (that we don’t even have yet) if it’s icy. Also they have to kneel and MUST be in snowpants if they want to play on the icy blacktop in winter. Why? The principal actually said do you want to deal with the parents? Um, yes. We NEED to change this mentality that the world including winter is unsafe (HELLO?! I live in CANADA, we have snow and ice for 4 months).

  26. Captain America December 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

    Publicity is the best solvent for this stain. . . the best remedy for this ill. . . the best you-name-it-whatever.

    We need to know the identity of this silly Insurance Firm, so that it can be broadcast across America and that its clients may have the freedom to revisit and revise their business relationship with the firm.

  27. response to Meagan December 12, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Meagan, you say that “The key to allowing risks is apparently to post signs advising “correct” play.” The following is a simplified sign in that vein:

  28. Sharon December 12, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    If they ever say the hill behind my building is off limits for sledding I plan to organize to protest. It was a life saver in the winter of 2009-2010 when we couldn’t go anywhere.
    I remember fishing my daughter out of the snow putting her on the sled and watching her squeal with delight as she slid down the hill.

    We are in suburban Maryland so this is not even an annual occurance. Don’t ban the fun.

  29. mystic_eye_cda December 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    Ok, but what if I call it a school field trip, then my homeschooler’s insurance would cover it 😛

    Here there’s a perfect climbing tree by the skate path, so of course the kids climb it (the shock, the horror). Now, as semi-responsible adults we encourage the kids to take their skates off before climbing – because it’s dangerous to climb in skates, and more to the point it’s bad for the tree.

    However if it’s one of the times when the skate marshalls are there they constantly try to stop the kids from climbing. Or playing on the hill, or pretty much anything for “liability reasons”. Sigh. Mostly we manage to avoid the times when the marshalls are out, but it sucks. Kids get bored of skating, parents want to keep going. Kids should be able to do what kids do, and the staff shouldn’t have to worry about being fired because they’re allowing people to break rules that make no sense.

    I’m sure the employees at the ski resort would face the same issue if they turned a blind eye to sledding

  30. Chihiro December 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    It’s probably safer to sled down a hill than it is to drive up here in MN right now. Have we outlawed driving? No. Did my school cancel class so no one got into an accident? No. It’s just life. You’ve gotta be prepared to deal with it. You can’t just avoid life.

  31. Hels December 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    Wow. Because my parents’ property has the biggest hill in the whole neighborhood (and it being rather flat area, it is probably all of 20 feet total rise and about 100 feet long, not terribly steep), all the kids from our street would come sled off that hill. I would only come out to ask them to mind my mom’s roses – not because kids would get scratches, but because rose bushes would be damaged! It never occurred to me to think that if a kid got hurt, because it happened on my parents’ land, they would technically be liable – because it is not fenced off and there are no big signs saying “keep out”… Thank goodness nothing ever happened, and hopefully all the neighbors are as nice and as sane as I think they are…

  32. steve December 12, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

    Wouldn’t Granby Ranch have attorneys who could, if they tried hard enough, figure out a way to get around the insurance company’s suggestions?

    Everytime I hear things like this I wonder…

    What ever happened to the whole idea of disclaimers?

    If disclaimers don’t serve a reasonable legal purpose, why do we still see them everywhere?

    Couldn’t the resort just put up a huge signs that say:

    “Everyone sledding on this hill does so at their own risk! If you harm or kill yourself or anyone else, we are not responsible in any way.”

    And perhaps throw in a couple more that say:

    “Sledding on this hill is fine with us, and people have done it for years — but you might harm or kill yourself or someone else, and doing so is at your own risk. You and your parents are totally responsible for everything that happens on this hill- not us.”

    The Management of Ski Granby Ranch

  33. Earth.W December 12, 2012 at 9:22 pm #

    In New Zealand, nobody can sue anyone. This has led to people who are injured through negligence by employers, tourism operators etc to not be held financially responsible. There never seems to be balance that requires the Court to balance the claim with ‘responsibility’.

  34. Donald December 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

    We have all heard of ridiculous cases. These cases get reported often and the truth gets distorted each time. Have you heard about the robber that broke into a house but tripped once inside. He then sued the people and won.

    The litigation hysteria is similar to the kidnapping hysteria. The truth gets distorted and it’s a ratings goldmine. Therefore it get reported often.

    How often does it actually happen? How many people successfully sue a ski resort for having a hill that is too slippery or has obstructions like trees?

  35. Cathy Milne December 12, 2012 at 9:49 pm #

    I agree that disclaimers or even charging a fee with the expectation that the sliders will be responsible for themselves and their offspring (under18ofcourse) would be the best idea. For goodness sake are we really going to put up with the lawyers scaring the vendors?

  36. Yan Seiner December 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    @Andrew: But that’s from an English paper about an event that happened in France. For a snowboarder, no less. Pretty tenuous connection to a kid sledding down the hill in Colorado, US.

    Before the days of the internet, this would never influence anyone outside of Chamonix. I spent a summer there once long ago; it was not unusual for tourists to kill themselves in the mountains there, much as they do here. It just never makes the paper.

    At least our state and county continue to operate snow parks. All the sledding you can do for a $3 parking fee.

  37. Donald December 12, 2012 at 10:31 pm #

    @ steve

    That’s what everybody else is wondering as well.

    Why can’t there be a disclaimer? People are losing their right to live normally because it’s deemed as too dangerous.

    It’s the law that you can challenge any disclaimer no matter how ridiculous the claim is.

    I.E. the ski resort is criminally negligent for not hiring snowy hill traffic cops to make sure that people don’t crash into each other. Even though it’s a ridiculous claim, I’m hopping the ski resort will pay me $1000 to drop the case instead of spending $5000 in legal fees defending themselves against parasites like me.

    It’s not against the law to be a parasite.

    It should be that if the plaintiff loses, then they pay the defendants legal fees. If the claim is as stupid as the one above, there will be a fine or community service as well.

  38. linvo December 12, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    One of the worst liability cases I know of here is a swimmer who sued the city council because he got seriously injured when he dove into the surf and hit a sandbank head first.

    I am always the first one to remind people that being stupid is not a crime. But that doesn’t mean that everyone else should pay for the stupidity of some.

  39. linvo December 12, 2012 at 11:09 pm #

    I forgot to say that the swimmer actually did win the case and received a sizable compensation pay-out.

  40. Andy December 13, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    @linvo Why was the town supposed to be responsible? What was the argument?

  41. Lee Lee December 13, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    Gee I live on an island so no snow here. Our idea of sledding was to take a piece of formica (from a neighbours kitchen renovations or cardboard from a packing crate and “ski” off of my aunts hill which had a 10 foot drop to the school below it. The bushes were our only buffer. Did a few kids go over and land in the bushes d*** skippy, did a few break a leg or arm? YOU BET did we all have a blast and memories to boot. YES YES YES!!!

  42. Shreeja N December 13, 2012 at 8:31 am #

    Insurance companies have to make profits…There is no stopping them 😉

  43. Mrs. H. December 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    I’m as free range as anybody, but I just want to point out that when @SP says:

    “So even people who would take responsibility for their own risks if they get hurt might not have control if they have to receive medical care. Its awful, and I can’t see it getting better.”

    there’s an inconsistency there. Taking a risk and then expecting your health insurance provider to pay the resulting bills is NOT taking responsibility for your own risk. Truly taking responsibility for your own risk includes paying the bills for the resulting broken bones.

    I’m not saying people shouldn’t take risks, or that health insurers shouldn’t pay if they haven’t put behavior limitations in place (although I wouldn’t disagree with a health insurer who doesn’t want to pay for a smoker’s lung cancer or fat person’s diabetes). But considering the cost of health care, it is unreasonable to expect the paying party i.e. health insurer NOT to try to recoup the cost from another responsible party.

  44. Katie December 13, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

    The problem is if you don’t do what the insurance company wants they will raise your rates sky high.

  45. Maegan December 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    This is an interesting sociological study. Insurance companies were (allegedly) established as ways to save a person or a company from financial ruin in the case of the unlikely. But that isn’t what they are, anymore. At least not in the United States. Like others have mentioned, it goes hand in hand with health insurance companies. Insurance companies are now large corporations that are allowed to charge whatever they want and avoid paying out when logic dictates that they should. They refuse to cover a sledding hill because they can. Because they still get their money, and they pay out less. And there is very little we can do. The focus needs to shift in our society toward initiating change in the industry. And I do believe, like many others do, that our government should protect us from insurance companies, as some in power are trying to do. What I don’t understand is why people don’t support it. On top of that, it’s impossible to get the actual facts. A Google search for “Sledding Safety Facts” only returns “Sledding Safety Tips”. While safety tips are important, they are not facts. They don’t tell us the actual logical risks of sledding, which makes it harder for us to stand up to the corporations that are trying to ban it and other activities in the name of profit.

  46. Chuck99 December 13, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    The honest truth is that insurance companies are there to take your money and keep it. If they can make you stop doing anything to need your insurance, but keep paying it, they see it as a win. It’s only a loss for everyone who can no longer do anything.

  47. Maegan December 13, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    @Mrs. H

    “Truly taking responsibility for your own risk includes paying the bills for the resulting broken bones.”

    Yes, but that responsibility is met when a person pays their insurance premiums (in many cases $500+/month for years) and paying bills until a deductible is met (up to $5,000 out of pocket under a lot of plans). Most people pay way more into the system than they get back. Smokers and the obese often pay much, much higher premiums than non-smokers and those within the preferred BMI range. And, in countries with universal health care, people pay for it through taxes. I don’t think very many people would agree that most people ever take advantage of insurance companies the way insurance companies take advantage of people.

  48. Taradlion December 13, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    This really bugs me…it bugs me that so many parents/people try protect their kids from the perceived increased risk of abduction and/or pedophilia based on the argument that “things are different now” or “the world is more dangerous”… Then, things like sledding are deemed too dangerous. The snow is no different, the hill is no different, the sleds might be different, but arguably safer than a metal bladed toboggan. Maybe the kids are heavier, but come on. Sledding can not be perceived as MORE dangerous, so is it that kids are more fragile? More precious? Or just the risk is too great?

    I guess since the hill is being shut down, there were families still out having fun sledding, so maybe the fear (or reality?) of being sued is the change?

    Grrrr….I’m annoyed.

  49. Warren December 14, 2012 at 8:25 am #

    Mrs H, by your standard anyone taking part in an activity that has an inherint risk, skiing, sledding, bike riding, rock climbing, hockey, baseball, soccer, rough housing with the dogs, and so on and so on, should not be able to rely on the insurance. In Canada we pay by taxes, and that means I get to take the risk of getting hury without worry, because I will be taken care of. If you pay premiums, then you are in the same boat, more or less. You are paying for that financial protection. Insurance companies work for us, the customer. Why is it customer service isn’t in the vocabulary of insurance companies?

    As for sledding properly and safe…………what the——? We used to slam and bang our way down the hill. The one to MAKE IT to the bottom won. Inner tubes, not snow tubes were a different beast all together. Those were used on high hills, with ramps and each tube held as many kids as possible to see who would manage to hold on while we got as much air off the ramp as possible. Usually no one made it.
    Yes there were injuries, stitiches and casts. And guess what, the kid with the cast was back out there, with the cast wrapped in a garbage bag so it wouldn’t get wet. We face planted, we head onned with trees, each other and lived to talk about it. Hell, we used to water down hills to make them icy, sprayed the bottoms of our sleds and tubes with cooking spray to go faster.

    I laugh when I hear parents worried about the two inch scar on lil Johnny’s arm. It’s a war wound to him, and not a life altering life changing trauma! He will wear it with pride, not depression.

    Let them slide, let them get hurt, let them learn, let them have fun.

  50. railmeat December 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    “And the bigger question I must ask, because I truly don’t have the answer, is: How do we stop insurance creep from taking every last eentsy bit of risk out of life, which means taking all the life out of life?”

    The insurance companies will stop running our lives when we stop looking for financial compensation for every wrong life gives us.

    Simple, really.

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