IFSA Event Insurance

Insurance Gap at IFSA Events in Canada and the United States

There is an insurance gap at IFSA venues for the coaches of independent Freeride and Freestyle clubs in both Canada and the United States. The following holds true:

  • The CSA and CFSA do not sanction IFSA events. This means that even if your club is sanctioned by the CFSA, the CGL coverage provided by the CFSA is not extended to an IFSA venue.
  • This information has been confirmed by David Pym, Canadian SnowSports Association; Meredith Garnder, CFSA; and Scott Mahoney, President of the IFSA. This information was confirmed by Heather Heasman, President, Golden Alpine Rippers.
  • Please click here to see the memo sent by Bruce Robinson, Freestyle Canada CEO.

So, what are the impacts?

  1. Coaches on IFSA venues have complete liability exposure. This exposure also extends to the Board of Directors of the club. Remember that Director's and Officer's insurance only protects the Board members for their "insurable actions". If a Board sends a coach on a venue with athletes knowing that there is no liability insurance coverage for that coach, the D&O policy is considered to be null and void by insurers.
  2. Increased operating cost to the independent club in order to secure supplementary insurance. Golden Alpine Rippers has secured supplementary CGL insurance to cover our coaches on IFSA venues for the 2018 competition season. The cost of this insurance is $2900. If you are interested in learning more about this coverage, please contact Heather Heasman.

Next Steps

The purchase of supplementary insurance is a decision that is up to each club and its Board. While the IFSA has indicated that it is working on a venue insurance package for coaches, the IFSA confirmed that this will not happen for the season 2018 and that this project is quite difficult given the scale of the IFSA organization/community.

Independent clubs play an important role in the Freeride and Freestyle communities. Increased operating costs are tough on any independent club, especially the small ones like the Golden Alpine Rippers (we have 18 athletes registered). We are investigating ways to bring the insurance premium down for 2019. In an ideal world, we would like to see:

  1. Reduced premium for the entire competition season.
  2. A one time package fee available per competition.

To do this, we need to know:

  • How many independent Freeride and Freestyle clubs in Canada are interested in this type of coverage.
  • Budget - what is feasible and sustainable for operating purposes.

Please contact GNAR President Heather Heasman or GNAR Head Coach Wendy Patterson if you would like to get involved or if you would like your club to benefit from supplementary insurance at IFSA events in Canada.

Insurance Advocacy Initiatives

The Golden Alpine Rippers Board sent the letters attached below to the IFSA and the CFSA. We received a detailed response from the IFSA and have engaged in constructive discussions with the IFSA regarding this matter. The CFSA has also responded and feels that it is up to the Canadian Freeride community to unite and come forward with a way to legitimize the sport in Canada (i.e. a national organized approach to sanctioning/insurance/ coach training/athlete development for Freeride).

Please note that in the letter to the IFSA, the event revenue calculation is incorrect. The IFSA historically has not received any revenue from the event registration fee. At the time of writing the letter, we were unaware of this detail. This year, the IFSA will collect a "drip" revenue from the resorts per athlete ($2 per athlete per regional event, $6 per athlete per national event, $8 per athlete per FWQ event). If you are interested in more detail regarding the discussions with the IFSA and the CFSA, please reach out to Heather Heasman.

IFSA Letter

CFSA Letter