"An Act relating to civil liability for commercial recreational activities and for guest passengers on an aircraft or watercraft; and providing for an effective date."
"Without exception, participation in outdoor recreational activities carries with it a degree of inherent risk."
- Sen. Seekins
Alaska has many recreational opportunities to offer outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors from all over the world, along with in-state recreationalists, enjoy commercial activities such as river rafting, guided hiking, snowboarding and sport fishing to name a few. Yet, the high cost of liability insurance presents a significant barrier to these enterprises, the vast majority of which are small Alaska-based companies.
Without exception, participation in outdoor recreational activities carries with it a degree of inherent risk. Senate Bill 175 adds the presumption that a participant accepts the inherent risks of a commercial recreation activity and as such has played a role in any damages resulting from that inherent risk.
This legislation will decrease uncertainties regarding the legal responsibilities for injuries and encourage the continued viability of responsible businesses that offer commercial recreational activities to the public. Existing legal uncertainties have resulted in high liability insurance costs, which are prohibitive, especially for smaller businesses.
This Bill will help avoid unfair and unreasonable claims that make it difficult to provide recreational and outdoor activities that are closely identified with the Alaska lifestyle and have come to be expected by visitors looking for exceptional experiences.