Trampolines can provide wholesome family fun, but they are also the source of more than 100,000 hospital emergency room visits each year. Since home insurance companies end up paying for many of these ER visits, they often place coverage restrictions on homes with trampolines. Whether you are shopping for a trampoline or homeowners insurance, here are the most important things to know about how either of these purchases may affect the other.
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When does homeowners insurance cover trampolines?
Although some companies won’t insure a home with a trampoline and others may exclude coverage for trampoline injuries, many accept trampolines that meet safety guidelines.
The specific criteria varies by company, but you can typically qualify for homeowners insurance if your trampoline satisfies the following requirements:
- It can’t be accessed by uninvited guests
- The trampoline’s surface is surrounded by safety netting
- The trampoline’s base is securely anchored to the ground
Most insurance companies ask if you have a trampoline when you request a quote or fill out an application, along with whether you have a pool. Some may even ask you to submit a photo of your trampoline so they can see if it meets their safety requirements.
Since a trampoline increases the risk of injuries on your property, having a trampoline may increase your home insurance rate.
It’s generally a bad idea to lie about having a trampoline or its condition to an insurance company. Most send an inspector out to your home after you purchase a policy. If they find a trampoline that you failed to disclose, or inaccurately described, they may raise your rate or cancel your policy.
What if I already have homeowners insurance?
If you already have homeowners insurance, find out if your policy excludes or restricts trampolines before you install one on your property. Since insurance policy documents can be difficult to read, it’s often best to just ask your agent.
If your current policy excludes trampolines, get a new policy that covers them before you set up your trampoline. Make sure to compare quotes from multiple companies when you shop.
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How does homeowners insurance cover trampolines?
When not excluded, trampolines are typically covered by the guest medical protection, personal liability and personal property coverages in your homeowners insurance.
Guest medical protection
If a visitor is injured in a trampoline accident on your property, your guest medical protection generally covers their treatment, up to your policy’s limits. Medical protection limits typically range from $1,000 to $5,000, which may not be enough to cover all of the injured person’s medical bills. But it’s a good start.
Your homeowners liability coverage kicks in If a guest is injured in a trampoline accident that you cause, including by neglect or inattention. For example, if you fail to properly maintain your trampoline or let kids use it without adult supervision, you may be deemed financially responsible for your guest’s injuries.
In addition to covering a guest’s injuries up to your policy’s limits, homeowners liability typically also covers the cost of defending you in court, if you are sued for causing the accident.
If your trampoline is damaged by a covered peril or stolen, your personal property coverage reimburses you for its actual cash value or replacement cost, depending on the type of coverage you choose.
Are there special insurance considerations for trampolines?
Since trampoline injuries are more common and costly than you may think, it’s important to give the following homeowners insurance concerns thoughtful consideration if you plan to get one.
Why are trampoline insurance exclusions bad?
If a guest suffers serious injuries in a trampoline accident on your property, their medical costs can add up fast, particularly if they suffer injuries to their head or spine. When your home insurance excludes trampoline injuries, these costs may come out of your pocket, if you are deemed responsible for the accident.
Why would my guests sue me over a trampoline accident?
Your guests, or even the parents of your kids’ friends, may not want to sue you over a trampoline accident, but their health insurance provider may not give them a choice.
When an injured person’s health insurance pays for medical treatment, it may also try to recoup its costs from the person or party who caused the injuries. If a dispute over your financial responsibility for a guest’s trampoline injuries can’t be resolved through other means, it may end up in court.
Do I have enough liability coverage?
Homeowners liability coverage limits typically range from $100,000 to $500,000, which may seem like a lot of money.
However, if you are found responsible for a trampoline accident that leaves a guest with severe or permanent injuries, you may be on the hook for a sum that exceeds these amounts. This, in turn, could put your personal assets and/or future earnings at risk.
At minimum, your liability limits should match your net worth. Consider adding an umbrella policy to your home insurance if your net worth exceeds your policy’s maximum available limit.
Does home insurance cover my trampoline injuries?
The coverages in your home insurance policy cover injuries to guests and the trampoline itself for damage or loss. If you or others in your household are injured on your trampoline, you have to turn to your health insurance to cover medical treatment for your injuries.
How can I avoid insurance claims for trampolines?
It may be impossible to eliminate every risk of trampoline use, but here are steps you can take to minimize the potential for injuries that may lead to a home insurance claim.
- Maintain adult supervision when kids use the trampoline, and establish rules forbidding somersaults and flips. These latter feats are best in controlled environments, such as a supervised gymnastics class.
- In addition to keeping your trampoline in a fenced yard, keep it on level ground and away from other structures and trees.
- Only allow one child on the trampoline at a time to reduce the risk of collisions.
- Properly install safety netting around your trampoline, even if your insurance company does not require it. According to the Mayo Clinic, nets cut the fracture risk in half.
- Make sure your trampoline’s frame, springs and hooks are covered with shock-absorbing padding.
- Regularly inspect your trampoline for signs of wear and replace parts, or the trampoline itself, when you see tears, fraying and/or rust.
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