Trampolines are fun additions to your backyard and can keep your kids (and maybe you!) busy for hours. But getting a trampoline is not as simple as it seems. They come with a whole host of dangers for homeowners that need to be carefully considered.
You might, for example, assume that if something goes wrong with your trampoline, your homeowners insurance covers it. Chances are, however, it either isn’t covered or you’ll have to jump through some hoops to get coverage.
Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know about homeowners insurance and trampolines.
What’s the problem with trampolines?
A trampoline might seem like a fun and simple toy to add to your backyard, but it can create complications when it comes to your home insurance.
First, it’s common knowledge that trampolines can be dangerous, resulting in serious injuries including broken necks, spinal cord injuries, and head traumas. Less serious injuries are possible as well, like broken bones, dislocations, and muscle sprains.
What’s more, most insurance companies consider a trampoline to be an attractive nuisance, or a dangerous item on your property that children are naturally attracted to, increasing the risk for injuries and liability claims. Children often jump on trampolines without fully understanding its risks. And even if you plan to carefully supervise anyone who plays on your trampoline, a neighbor’s child may take a turn on it when you’re not home.
Because trampolines are categorized as attractive nuisances, having one can make you responsible for a child’s injuries. This is usually true even if the child used it without your knowledge or permission.
Long story short? Coverage for your trampoline, both in terms of injuries someone suffers and damage to it, depends on your policy and the legal standards in your state.
Ultimately, you should talk to your insurance company before you buy a trampoline so you understand all of the insurance considerations.
Does homeowners insurance cover trampolines?
Going without insurance coverage for your backyard trampoline could be a very costly mistake. You’re automatically at a higher risk for negligence claims and lawsuits as soon as the trampoline is installed in your yard. Moreover, the first major windstorm could damage it and send your investment down the drain.
Your homeowners insurance likely covers your trampoline in one of several ways, depending on your insurer and where you live.
Trampolines are excluded from coverage. Why? The risk for injuries and the associated costs are simply too high for your insurer. If your homeowners policy excludes trampolines from coverage, then it won’t cover you for any trampoline-related claims, whether they’re for liability or property damage. Some insurance companies with trampoline exclusions may not renew your policy if they find you have purchased a trampoline after the policy was issued.
Trampolines are covered if you take certain safety precautions. Some homeowners policies may provide coverage for a trampoline if you have certain safety precautions in place, like a locked fence or safety netting.
Trampolines are covered with no exclusions and no additional cost. In these cases, there are no restrictions on trampoline ownership or usage. If a guest is injured on your trampoline, then your personal liability coverage may help pay the related medical and legal expenses. Or if the trampoline itself is damaged in a storm, your personal property coverage may help pay for repairs.
Trampolines are covered but for an additional cost. Chances are that in most cases you’ll pay more for your homeowners insurance if you own a trampoline.
The thing is, if you’re going to have a trampoline in your yard, you’re going to want to make sure it’s covered.
If you already have homeowners insurance, your first step is to work with your current company to see if you can add appropriate coverage. Otherwise, you’ll have to shop around for a company who will cover it. And if you don’t have a policy, you need to be upfront about having a trampoline on your property.
Does a trampoline increase your home insurance costs?
In most cases, having a trampoline does increase your home insurance costs. You’re adding a major change to your risk profile and asking the insurance company to bear the cost if something goes wrong. A higher insurance premium is the natural result of your increased risk of having a claim filed against you if someone gets hurt.
Plus, your insurance company will likely make you go through a few hoops before offering trampoline coverage. The most common are probably safety standards. Just like someone who has a swimming pool or any other attractive nuisance in his or her yard, you may be asked to have a locking gate or a safety net around your trampoline to keep out uninvited visitors.
Other ways to increase your trampoline insurance
Your homeowners insurance policy includes liability coverage up to a certain limit. It covers negligence claims and lawsuits if someone gets hurt on your property. However, your personal liability coverage limits may not be enough once you actually add a trampoline to the mix – even if your homeowners insurance covers trampolines.
One way to make sure you’re protected is to increase the liability limits on your existing home insurance policy if you purchase a trampoline. You may also want to purchase a personal umbrella policy, which adds additional liability protection for claims that exceed the limits of your homeowners policy. The high risk for injury claims and lawsuits when you have a backyard trampoline means you should seriously consider getting a personal umbrella policy.
Kin doesn’t currently offer personal umbrella insurance, but certain insurance companies specialize in providing affordable umbrella insurance. They may require you to have appropriate underlying coverage (usually home and auto insurance) with another insurer.
Trampoline safety tips you can use
Failure to take proper precautions for an attractive nuisance can make you ineligible for homeowners insurance in many areas. The best way to avoid costly injuries and insurance claims resulting from trampoline use is to use a variety of safety controls around your trampoline and for those who use it.
Here are some trampoline safety tips to get you started:
Install a locking fence around your yard or the trampoline.
Use trampoline safety netting to reduce the risk of someone falling off.
Place the trampoline on soft, energy-absorbing ground such as sand, bark, crash mats, or other materials that can cushion a fall.
Position the trampoline away from concrete, fences, or any other dangerous obstructions.
Our most important tip? Before you purchase a trampoline, be sure to talk to your insurance company or advisor.