Skateboard Park Liability
Effective October 1, 2003, local governments were given liability protection when designating areas for
skateboarding, inline skating, or freestyle bicycling with the enactment of SB 774 – Liability at Public
Skateboard Parks (SL 2003-334). The act provides that a participant assumes the risks of these activities,
irrespective of age, and is legally responsible for all damage, injury, or death to himself, other persons, or
property, and that no government entity or public employee is liable to any person who voluntarily
participates in the activity in a designated area. The fact that a governmental entity carries insurance does
not constitute a waiver of liability limits. The operator of a skateboard park may not permit a person to ride a
skateboard unless he or she is wearing appropriate protective gear, but this requirement is satisfied as to a
government-owned or –operated facility that is not supervised on a regular basis when the governmental
entity (1) adopts an ordinance requiring helmet, elbow pads, and kneepads to be worn; and (2) posts
appropriate signs at the facility.
Interpretation of SB 774 as it applies to the IRFFNC General Liability Coverage Form
To supervise or not to supervise …
If the facility is supervised, the governmental entity must enforce the wearing of a helmet, elbow
pads, and kneepads.
If the facility is unsupervised, the governmental entity must (1) adopt an ordinance requiring helmet,
elbow pads, and kneepads to be worn; and (2) post appropriate signs at the facility.
Does this new law mean I do not need to add skateboard park coverage to my IRFFNC General
Liability Coverage Form?
Defending a lawsuit could become very costly for the town/city. Therefore, coverage is necessary in
order to provide a defense through the IRFFNC General Liability coverage. Additionally, there is a
gap in the new law as municipalities are still “liable for gross negligence that is the proximate cause
of injury”. The courts will ultimately decide whether the municipality is grossly negligent.
What if a municipality does not add skateboard park liability coverage?
If someone is injured or a suit is filed and a claim is made, the IRFFNC Claims Department will
deny coverage for the claim based on the exclusion as found under IRFFNC General Liability
Coverage Form, Additional Exclusions – Coverage A and B, 1. Sponsored Activities or
Designated Operations, h. Skateboard Facilities of any description (page 12 of 31).
How expensive is skateboard park coverage under the IRFFNC General Liability coverage?
Currently, our underwriting guidelines are setup as follows:
Tier I Parks (parks with all ramps 3 feet or less in height) – flat $500 Annual Premium.
Tier II Parks (parks with one of more ramps exceeding the 3 foot height) – a fee is charged
per ramp. An estimate can be provided once a park layout is submitted to underwriting.
Given this new law, the underwriting guidelines are currently under review by the Board of Trustees.
If any changes are made, they will be effective July 1, 2004.
Why does IRFFNC charge for Skateboard Park liability even though SB774 provides limited
Although this new law provides liability protection, coverage should be in place to defend a
suit, should a plaintiff challenge the new law. Thus, when a town/city has an activity that
increases their liability risk an appropriate fee is charged. The IRFFNC General Liability
premium is based on various exposures (i.e., swimming pools, dams, lakes, miles of streets
& roads, number of EMS trips, etc.).
H:\Ryan E Website\4-5 Property and Liability Insurance Trust\4-5-9 PL FAQs\Skateboard Park INFO.doc