As a homeowner with children, you will find yourself considering purchases you may have never considered before. Any well-seasoned parent will admit that it can be hard to keep kids entertained, but you get bonus points if you can find a way to do it outside where there is more room for running and playing. But, before you go and purchase that trampoline that may win over tiny hearts, make sure to speak to your insurance agent to see if your homeowners insurance policy covers trampolines or not. Once you get that trampoline, you have to consider the danger it can pose to not only your children but to any other child that hops on it. The amount of responsibility that comes with this purchase is significant, so take your time in doing your research first. It could make a world of difference for your family and others.
DOES MY HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICY COVER TRAMPOLINES?
Well, that depends on a few things. Homeowners insurance varies state to state, and the policies vary within each state. In a general sense, it does not hurt to consider that trampoline coverage is usually addressed in one of three ways:
- No Exclusions: With this type of policy, there are no restrictions to consider. If one of your guests gets hurt on your trampoline, this type of coverage will likely help cover the medical bills. Likewise, if your trampoline was damaged in a storm, this type of personal property damage could cover the loss. As you can see, this type of coverage can be applied to many different situations.
- Coverage with Safety Precautions: In other words, your policy may cover the use of your trampoline as long as you adhere to specific safety precautions while using it.
- Trampoline Exclusion: This would be the worst case scenario for homeowners with trampolines. In this case, your policy does not include trampolines at all. For some people, it even indirectly punishes the homeowner for getting a trampoline by making the homeowner ineligible for policy renewal.
WHAT IS AN ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE?
An attractive nuisance is anything on your property that might tempt young children to somehow put their life at risk. There is no single list of examples, because it varies case by case, but there are some objects that tend to be universally recognized as attractive nuisances. These objects would include swimming pools, koi ponds, and heavy machinery. Age plays a big factor in this because the attraction is based on the child’s innocence and lack of understanding. The younger the child, the more you have to assume they will put themselves in danger accidentally. In some states, a trampoline is considered an attractive nuisance. Be sure to check with your insurance agent today to see what objects are considered attractive nuisances in your state. States like Florida have an Attractive Nuisance Doctrine which explains how a homeowner can still be held responsible for the injuries of a child who trespasses if the homeowner has an attractive nuisance on his or her property.
CHECK YOUR INSURANCE COVERAGE LIMIT
Your insurance limit is the maximum amount that your insurance company will pay towards your claim. Do yourself a favor and figure out what your insurance limits are today. You do not want to be in a situation where you realize your insurance barely covers what you are now responsible for. Call your agent and discuss the details of your policy so that you know what your limits are. With a true understanding of this information, you can decide what additional coverage you may need to consider.
WHAT IS A PERSONAL UMBRELLA POLICY?
In addition to your homeowners insurance policy, you can take on additional policies to ensure you have enough coverage in the event of an emergency. That is where a Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP) comes in handy. This type of policy provides you coverage that exceeds the coverage provided in your homeowners policy. Depending on what attractive nuisances you have on your property, you may need to add some extra coverage for you and your family.
WHO SHOULD I CHECK WITH BEFORE BUYING A TRAMPOLINE?
Before you buy a trampoline, or anything else that could be seen as an attractive nuisance, check in with your insurance agent and your lawyer. Your agent can walk you through the coverage you have and help you decide if you have enough coverage for what you own. Your lawyer can also walk you through your insurance policy and help you understand it from a legal standpoint for your state. While your insurance agent can help you understand the details of the policy, your lawyer can help you understand whether or not that policy protects you in the long-run. Give us a call today at Keller Melchiorre & Walsh and we’ll be more than happy to help you understand just how effective your insurance policies may be in the eyes of the law.