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Thread: Insurance and USFSA card??

  1. #1
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    Insurance and USFSA card??

    Someone said that you need the card for "insurance" purposes if you want to skate on club ice as a "walk on"? Doesn't the rinks insurance (and "skate at own risk") signs legally cover this? I know you don't need a card to skate session (rec), so they must be covered. Does this just apply to club ice because the club is afraid they will be liable? (and the card covers them?)
    Last edited by bondgirl; 10-23-2009 at 09:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Rinkside
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    I have honestly never heard of that. But unfortunatley it's been like ten years since I used to skate and most of the time, I was a member of USFSA.

    My two cents for what it is worth; this probally varies from rink to rink. It might depend on how important the figure skating club is to a particular rink. This is a just a guess, though.
    It probally would also just apply to freestyle sessions, if that rink considers those sessions the domain of the club.

    Good luck!

    I doubt it is really about insurance, per say. I think it is more about membership dues and control of who is on the ice; as far as skills, etc.

    But again, like I said it's been like ten years, and my memory of all that is kinda fuzzy.

    I hope it helps, though. I noticed you hadn't yet had any responses to your question.
    Last edited by Tonichelle; 10-24-2009 at 06:29 PM. Reason: merging , please just edit when adding to a thought

  3. #3
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I agree with the above poster that if the rink has a policy about requiring USFSA membership, that has nothing to do with insurance.

    Neither do signs that say, "Skate at your own risk," "the rink is not responsible for personal injury," etc.

    Liability is determined by state laws, not by skating rink owners. They put up those signs just on the off chance that someone might not realize that they can sue if they are injured.

  4. #4
    Rinkside
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    Most figure skating clubs have to carry liability insurance when they sell club ice. If the club is the one reselling the ice, then they do have the right to require that people skating on the session are members of either their club or fulfill the requirements for visitor privileges .

    If the rink is the one selling the ice, then they have their own insurance to cover the sessions and they have their own requirements.

    These situations can be very regional and or club specific. Some areas of the country the clubs run sessions or even own the rinks , in others the sessions are mostly rink run.

    You should find out what the situation is in your area at the rink you are interested in skating at and find out what they require.

    Good luck to you and happy skating!

  5. #5
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information, uss8.

    But I am still puzzled about one thing. Rink owners and skating clubs (a) must carry liability insurance and (b) may set rules for use of the ice , such as membership in the club or membership in the USFSA. What I don't understand is, what does (b) have to do with (a)? It seems like they would have to carry the same liability insurance whether they restricted ice use to members or not.

  6. #6
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    Thanks everyone for your answers. Ice is so much different than roller. At the few roller rinks that are left that have "artistic" (their word for figure skating) practice, it is usually just up to the coach. There is usually only one and he/she is "god" and pretty much runs the club, (and usually is the rink owner and/or manager). Not like ice where there are several choaches to choose from and the club is in charge. On roller you can be part of the USRSA (their version of the USFSA). If you want to skate competition, you have to be a member, (they really don't have tests), but if you just want to take lessons/practice then that is up to the coach. Of course, you have to pay for the practice sessions....
    Going to see what I can do about getting ice time without joining club/getting card. If not, guess I can always join one..... (I love these little faces!!)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Thanks for the information, uss8.

    But I am still puzzled about one thing. Rink owners and skating clubs (a) must carry liability insurance and (b) may set rules for use of the ice , such as membership in the club or membership in the USFSA. What I don't understand is, what does (b) have to do with (a)? It seems like they would have to carry the same liability insurance whether they restricted ice use to members or not.
    For the club run ice the liability insurance would be through USFSA. If a skater is on the ice and is not a member of that particular club or the USFSA then they are not covered by the insurance. This would create a huge mess and headache if someone got hurt- especially for the USFSA.

    My personal recommendation is that everyone that wants to further develop their skills and cannot find suitable ice time should just join a club. The membership fee should be fairly low and you will save yourself a lot of work and will be able to practice properly.
    Last edited by i love to skate; 10-24-2009 at 10:49 PM.

  8. #8
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i love to skate View Post
    For the club run ice the liability insurance would be through USFSA. If a skater is on the ice and is not a member of that particular club or the USFSA then they are not covered by the insurance. This would create a huge mess and headache if someone got hurt- especially for the USFSA.

    My personal recommendation is that everyone that wants to further develop their skills and cannot find suitable ice time should just join a club. The membership fee should be fairly low and you will save yourself a lot of work and will be able to practice properly.
    Not only this, but typically the club contracts with the rink for the ice for the year and so wants to sell it to their own club members first to cover their costs. Our club has a rule on club ice that you have to be a USFS member and can only walk on a set number of times out of club before we require you to at least get an associate (second club) membership

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    Insurance thing is a bummer!

    OK....So this is all basically because of insurance, then.:sheesh: (They are afraid of being sued.) Yes, I agree that since the club is the one renting the ice from the rink, obviously, their members should get first chance at any ice. But if there are ""empty slots" (usually 5-10 minutes after a session begins), I would think there would/should be a sign up sheet, (first come, first served), so the club/rink can make $. (I think I went to a rink a few times when I lived in St. Louis that had something like this). Of couse, you are saying I would still need a card because of the insurance thing.....Bummer!
    And it is this way in Canada and UK too? Everyone suing. How ridiculous!! Ice is hard. You can get hurt. DUH!:sheesh: (Skate at YOUR own risk.) Need court reform. Before you know it, they will require us to wear helmets.....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bondgirl View Post
    Of couse, you are saying I would still need a card because of the insurance thing.....Bummer!
    And it is this way in Canada and UK too? Everyone suing. How ridiculous!! Ice is hard. You can get hurt. DUH!:sheesh: (Skate at YOUR own risk.) Need court reform. Before you know it, they will require us to wear helmets.....
    We don't have a problem with excessive suing here in Canada as our laws in regards to this are fairly strict. The skating club requiring insurance is really no different than any other sport or facility. If you join a gym, the Y, or play hockey once a week at a rink you have to sign a waiver or something along those lines. Skating Associations have so many skaters that it is much easier to get insurance to cover them. There is also the fact that skaters are receiving lessons from coaches as I mentioned before.

    BTW, I don't think figure skating will ever require people to wear helmets. It is much more dangerous doing jumps and spins with a helmet on.

  11. #11
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    Was just being sarcastic about the helmets .......Except.....when I skated inline (this summer) and was desparate enough to try to practice at the outdoor skateparks, (between rainy days), several tossed me out because I was not wearing a helmet. Tried to explain you can't do artistic skating (freestyle) with a helmet. Didn't get far.....:banging: Was lucky enough to find one with a rather large free area between ramps that was lax about the helmet rule, (though it was technically on the rule list when you walked up to the park gate.)
    Here in America people seem a bit "sue happy." (Suspect that is why the clubs/rinks are so worried about liability.) Wish I could just sign a waver....Seems like a lot of trouble to join a club, get a card etc. just to skate on the weekends.....

  12. #12
    Rink Rat i love to skate's Avatar
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    I think you overestimating the work involved in getting a card. You should just fill out your information, pay the fee, give it to the club, and you will get your number and card a couple weeks later. Then you can practice during the club sessions. Easy.

  13. #13
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    Skating rinks aren't liable unless the injury was sustained due to something that was the fault of the rink in a physical sense or neglect, like a broken railing or a problem with the ice about which the skater was unaware before skating over it. A skater would have to prove that the injury was sustained from something other than strictly his or her actions of skating or decision to get on the ice after seeing the condition of the ice.

    As far as instruction goes, rinks don't need liability insurance since instructors have it. The instructor liability insurance covers student injuries in cases of injuries that are related to the instruction itself, which happen at the time the instruction is being given. I was an ISIA registered instructor (like a zillion years ago when I could still skate), and as such was required to have liability insurance - the rink where I taught did not have liability insurance as far as lessons were concerned, just the typical business property liability insurance.

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