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Thread: "Full contact" haunts and insurance?

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  1. Default "Full contact" haunts and insurance? 
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Hello! I'm looking for some advice.

    I was attending a haunt seminar recently and the haunt consultant was asserting that "full contact" haunted houses, for better or for worse, were here to stay and growing in popularity. His advice was to get on the bandwagon (to some extent) so that your competition doesn't leave you in the dust.

    I decided to take his advice and consider training my actors in a very limited, restrained amount of contact. My lawyer, who works in entertainment but doesn't have any other haunt clients, wasn't sure. But the deal breaker happened when I talked to my insurance broker: she said that if we started making contact with our patrons as part of the show, their underwriters would refuse to insure my haunt.

    Obviously, there are now full contact haunts among us and I'm **assuming** that they have managed to get general liability coverage.
    Can any of you speak to this?
    Do any of you have haunts with contact and still get liability coverage?
    And if so, who insures you?
    Do your insurers know that you allow contact?

    There's not a lot of good info out there about this and I'm assuming this thread will help more than just me, so thanks for your input!

    Dave at FrightTown

  2. Default  
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Clinton Twp, Michigan
    Any haunt consultant that is encouraging you to do this is an idiot!

    My guess is that any haunts that do full contact, do not tell their insurance company anything about it. No insurance company will cover this type of physical contact.

    I am all for trying new and even unconventional types of ideas in your haunt, but haunts that are including these types of gimmicks are ruining this industry in my opinion. It only takes one actor to accidentally touch a boob to get that haunt in huge trouble. I worked for a haunt many years ago that had that scenario happen. Police were involved, people were fired and law suits ensued.

    It is a horrible idea! There is no need to touch customers. We tell our customers all the time not to touch anything inside the haunt especially the actors, but then we go and touch them? Does that make any sense at all? Any haunt that does this, must have actors being hit, punched, kicked & thrown to the ground every night. Who wants to work in that type of envirorment? If this is what you do in your haunt then you deserve whatever you get.

    This new trend is just as bad as the Naked haunted house idea. Don't do it! Doesn't our industry already have enough problems. It's just another way to place another black eye on haunted attractions.

    Most haunts probably ask their customers to sign a waiver stating that they may be touched inside. Ask any lawyer how well waivers hold up in court.

    The only reason to attempt this type of tactic is that the haunt cannot scare anybody any other way. If that's the case, how good of a haunt are they in the first place? This can ruin your reputation in very quick fashion. Word of mouth is the best advertising in the haunt business. Without good word of mouth, your haunt will not make it very long!


    I am sure someone will come on here and totally disagree with what I am saying. Almost every time I make a post I get bashed for my comments. However, I am a person who has been involved in this industry for 28 years and have seen almost every haunt situation. When I post or reply to a post, it comes from my own experiences and knowledge of this industry. Even though I sold my haunt and am no longer associated with any attraction at the moment, I still watch out for the industry which I love and has been such an important part of my life for so many years. I hope my posts come across as helpful information and suggestions from someone who really cares about the future success of this industry that has treated me very well for most of my life. I am never here to try to cause problems.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents!

    Yours in "Spirit,"

    Howie "Slobber" Erlich
    1986-1997 (Mutilation Mansion,) 1998 (Screamers Haunted House,) 1999 (Evil Intention Haunted House,) 2000-2001 Concept Creator/Business Partner (Urban Legends Haunted House,) 2002 Floor Plan Designer and Consultant for a (Haunted Barn) Owners had city challenges & were never able to open, 2002 Floor Plan Designer/Construction (Fright Nights Haunted House) 2003-2012 Now retired Owner (Deadly Intentions Haunted Attraction)

  3. Default Donat Insurance 
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    I was looking into allowing some touching this year, so I asked Ken Donat what it would mean for insurance. He just said that it would be an extra $500 and there is no coverage for sexual abuse. If you haven't looked into using Ken I'd highly recommend it- he's great to work with and understands the industry.
    Mike Quill
    Fear Town Haunted House

  4. Default Don't need to touch 
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    Last year I got a call over the radio - a patron had touched one of the younger actors - in all the wrong places (I know its reversed but still the same issue). Turned out he only touched himself, in the wrong place, but still an issue. I thought long and hard about that incident, and am thankful I don't have the risk of someone accidentally touching a patron in the wrong place. Instant lawsuit and really bad publicity. Not worth it, and I don't really need to anyway - people are scared enough going through the haunt.
    Travis "Big T" Russell
    Big T Productions Inc

    Owner and Operator of "The Plague" and "Camp Nightmare"

    Customer Quote of the year: "Damn, I pissed myself"

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