Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Trampolines?
Yes, homeowner’s insurance will cover trampolines unless it is explicitly excluded. Having a trampoline at your home will generally result in higher premiums, as insurers see them as an “attractive nuisance,” or something that increases the chances of injury claims because it could attract children who could potentially injure themselves. In some cases, insurance companies will only cover trampolines with nets and other added safety features, if not exclude them from coverage altogether.
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Trampolines — Fun, But Not Without Injury and Insurance Risks
Though trampolines offer excellent entertainment for children, parents, and house guests alike, they present inherent liability risks. According to a recent study, more than 800,000 children hurt themselves on trampolines between 2009 and 2018. These injuries ranged from minor scrape-ups to severe bone fractures, 25% of which resulted in surgery.
Some of the most common trampoline injuries indicated in the study included:
- Small lacerations
- Broken upper arm or leg
- Radius and ulna fractures
- Fractured ribs and sternum
- Cracked skull
- Broken back or neck
Insurance companies classify trampolines and other recreational purchases like treehouses and swimming pools as attractive nuisances. Attractive nuisances are considered to be any feature of your property that inherently increases risk due to its presence and with usage. For example, swimming pools inherently increase the risk of drowning, and treehouses inherently increase the risk of falling injuries.
This is important to remember because if an individual outside of your family were to injure themselves on your trampoline, you could be liable for damages. Ensuring you have ample coverage to cover those situations is an essential step before purchasing one.
Types of Homeowner’s Insurance For Trampolines
Under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy, the following coverages apply to trampolines:
- Personal Property Coverage: This coverage helps absorb the cost of personal items like clothing, electronics, or trampolines stolen or damaged by a covered peril like a storm or fire.
- Liability Coverage: This coverage protects you from legal and medical fees resulting from bodily injury incurred while on your property, such as a neighbor breaking their arm on your trampoline.
The risks associated with trampoline ownership will likely increase your insurance premiums. However, trampolines are not always completely covered by standard homeowner’s insurance policies. Instead, coverage typically comes in one of three types: complete coverage, conditional coverage, or no coverage. Look over your policy details or contact your insurance company to find out what type of coverage your policy uses.
Complete coverage would allow you to include a trampoline in your homeowners policy without stipulations or exclusions. Your liability coverage would pay for injuries sustained by a guest jumping on your trampoline or protect you from damages your trampoline could cause to other properties if uprooted by heavy winds. If those same winds destroyed it, your personal property coverage would pay to replace your trampoline.
Even with complete coverage, homeowners insurance for a trampoline will not reimburse you under every circumstance. For example, you may not receive coverage due to incidents caused by a trampoline if they were ultimately due to general wear and tear or if you personally damaged the trampoline.
Some insurance companies will allow trampolines if owners abide by specific safety protocols. For example, some insurers may require that you include a high net or fence surrounding the trampoline to protect people from falling or add soft mulch, sand, or foam blanketing the neighboring ground. Other companies may require you to keep the trampoline in a closed or locked area, away from neighborhood children.
Again, conditional coverage will not cover general wear and tear or damage to the trampoline caused by you or your family. If an insurance adjuster inspects your property following a claim and discovers half measures in place, such as a torn net or improperly assembled trampoline, you likely will not receive the coverage you seek.
Complete Exclusion From Coverage
Some homeowners’ policies exclude trampolines from coverage entirely due to the inherent risks involved. Without coverage, medical bills from trampoline accidents become your responsibility. Your insurer could also refuse to renew your homeowners contract if you install a trampoline against the terms of your policy. Take care to find an insurance provider with trampoline coverage before you set out to purchase one.
Personal Property vs. Other Structures Coverage for Trampolines
Personal property coverage pays for personal belongings like clothes, sporting goods, and electronics damaged or lost due to a covered peril. Other structures coverage protects you from damage to fixtures on your property other than your home, such as fences, tool sheds, treehouses, etc.
Insurance companies view trampolines as personal property because they function as recreational or fitness equipment. If you have a treehouse and a trampoline in your yard, separate coverage packages are required.
How to Increase Your Coverage to Increase Your Protection
Whether you have a trampoline, pool, or other “attractive nuisance,” you may want to increase your coverage to protect against the heightened potential for injury and liability claims — particularly if you regularly have guests on your property, such as neighbors or your child’s soccer teammates. For homeowners with trampolines, there is also the risk of it causing damage if it is uprooted by heavy winds and crashes into your home.
If you’re interested in adding more coverage to your home insurance, consider investing in a personal umbrella policy (PUP). PUPs protect homeowners from lawsuits, medical debts, and outsized liability claims by bumping your liability coverage up in million-dollar increments.
While premiums vary depending on your insurer, average personal umbrella policies start around $215 per year for $1 million of coverage–a worthy investment when weighed against lofty medical and litigation fees.
Ensure you follow these steps before settling on a PUP:
1. Determine how much personal property and liability coverage you will likely need.
First, consider how much personal property and liability coverage you’d need, factoring in how accessible your trampolines, pools, and other features may be. For example, if your home is a popular place for your child’s sleepovers with friends, you should consider how much coverage you may need for liability lawsuits if one or more of the children are injured at your home.
2. Compare this coverage need with what your home insurance offers.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies have a limit of $500,000 in coverage. If this falls below your net worth or the protection you might require following a severe accident, move ahead to the next step.
3. Explore your options for umbrella insurance.
Before seeking elsewhere for personal umbrella insurance, check with your homeowners insurance company to see if they have a policy that meets your needs. Bundling your home, auto, and umbrella policy with the same company frequently results in a discount.
Many homeowner’s and auto insurance companies offer personal umbrella policies. While many of these have a limit of between $5-10 million in coverage, some policies will cover up to $100 million. Do your research and find the best company for you.
4. Select and purchase umbrella insurance and receive confirmation of your policy.
Once you settle on and purchase a plan through the insurer of your choice, you will receive confirmation of your policy detailing your coverages and terms. From here on out, your PUP will kick in to cover medical and legal expenses that exceed any of your other insurance limits.
Do You Have to Tell Your Insurer If You Get a Trampoline?
While you do not legally have to inform your insurer of your intention to buy a trampoline, neglecting to do so could result in severe financial consequences should something go wrong.
Trampoline injuries are fairly common. If somebody gets hurt on the trampoline and decides to sue you for damages, your insurance company does not have to cover you for a trampoline they never knew existed. Omitting information disqualifies you from coverage and can result in the non-renewal or termination of your homeowner’s insurance policy.
The Best Way to Keep Costs Down With a Trampoline: Being Safe
While securing proper insurance for your trampoline may prove invaluable someday, avoid claims altogether by taking thorough safety precautions around your trampoline. Consider the following:
- Install safety features: These can include high fences or netting around the trampoline that prevent hard falls on concrete or foam padding around the trampoline to cushion surprise landings.
- Correctly and securely install the trampoline before use: Proper setup requires attention and the appropriate tools. Carefully adhere to the assembly instructions and secure your trampoline in a grassy or sandy area.
- Supervise usage: You can ensure participants play safely by staying present while your trampoline is in use. Restrict children from risky moves like backflips and somersaults, and advise everyone to wear shoes.
- Limit the number of people using the trampoline at any time: Many trampoline-related injuries occur from midair collisions. Do not allow more people to jump on your trampoline than feels safe.
- Store the trampoline when not in use: Reduce the risk of injury by removing the trampoline during the winter, long vacations, or any other extended absence.
What This Means For You
Trampolines can bring joy to any family household and offer kids and adults alike a fun way to get some fresh air. Just remember to consider the total risk involved before installing one in your yard, as well as potential limitations on home insurance coverage. It is a good idea to confirm that your homeowner’s insurance will cover you for injury and damages caused by a trampoline before bringing one home. If you decide that you need more coverage because of the trampoline, frequency of guests, or other factors, look into purchasing personal umbrella protection to extend your coverages.