Does a Trampoline Increase Homeowners Insurance?
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Having a trampoline will usually raise your home insurance rates because it increases your likelihood of filing a liability claim due to a trampoline-related injury. Unfortunately, not all carriers will insure your trampoline for liability and those that do will usually require for you to meet certain safety precautions, like enclosing it in a safety net.
Why Does a Trampoline Increase Rates?
Trampolines increase home insurance rates because having one increases the likelihood of somebody getting injured, whether it's from falling off the trampoline, colliding with another jumper or attempting some dangerous somersault. In fact, 20% to 30% of children who suffer a trampoline-related injury require surgery — a considerable expense that is usually covered under the liability portion of your home insurance policy. More serious accidents can result in paralysis or death.
Moreover, trampolines are classified as attractive nuisances similar to pools and bounce houses. Attractive nuisances are added features that increase the likelihood of children trespassing onto your property and using your trampoline without your permission. After all, children ages five to 14 account for 90% of trampoline injuries.
Even though trespassing is a crime, it is the property owner who is on the hook for any trampoline-related injuries that occur. Therefore, many home insurers require homeowners to secure the trampoline within a locking gate to deter such behavior and reduce your liability exposure.
Your Home Insurance Company Must Know You Have a Trampoline
Failing to inform your home insurer about having a trampoline can result in a claim denial or the cancellation of your policy. The reason is that you misrepresented your actual risk. Without factoring your trampoline into your premium, you are paying a lower rate that does not accurately reflect your higher risk.
When your policy is canceled, this creates a lapse in home insurance coverage between your previous policy and your next policy — coverage lapses typically lead to higher insurance premiums when you purchase a new policy.
When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Trampolines?
Homeowners insurance companies will generally have the following stances on trampolines:
- Your trampoline is covered with no exclusions or conditions.
- Your trampoline is covered only if you meet certain safety precautions.
- Your trampoline is excluded and will not be covered.
Your Trampoline Is Automatically Covered
If your home insurer covers your trampoline with no exclusions or special conditions, then your policy's liability coverage will cover most trampoline-related injuries. From broken ankles to concussions, your guest's medical expenses will be covered. If medical bills are significant, then you may be sued in court. Fortunately, liability coverage will also pay your legal expenses.
Home insurance will not cover you and regular household members for trampoline-related injuries. Liability coverage is intended for other people, like guests and child trespassers. You will need to rely on health insurance for your own injuries.
Standard homeowners insurance will also cover your trampoline in the following scenarios:
- Dwelling coverage: Pays for damages to your home's structure if your trampoline hits it (e.g., strong winds blow your trampoline against the side of your home, damaging the wall siding panels).
- Additional structures coverage: Pays for damages your trampoline causes to structures other than your home, like sheds, fences and detached garages.
- Personal property coverage: Trampolines are considered personal property and your home insurer should cover it for damages from most common perils, like fire, windstorms, lightning and hail.
You Must Meet Certain Conditions
Your home insurance company may require that you meet certain safety-related conditions before they extend coverage to your trampoline. Typically, this will include installing safety netting around the trampoline that must be locked when not in use. The trampoline may also be required to be positioned in an enclosed area that locks.
Your Trampoline is Excluded
Trampolines may be an automatic deal breaker for some insurance companies, and you will not get coverage, despite meeting all the general safety requirements. In these cases, your trampoline will either be excluded from your policy or your home insurer may cancel your policy or won't allow you to renew.
You keep the trampoline but it's excluded from your home policy. Some home insurers will allow you to keep the trampoline but you must shoulder all the financial and liability risks. If somebody gets injured while jumping on your trampoline or a storm blows it into your neighbor's yard and through their window, you are solely responsible for repairs, medical bills and legal expenses.
Your policy gets canceled unless you remove the trampoline. Trampolines can be risk magnets and some insurers will not permit policyholders to keep a trampoline if they want to maintain coverage. If you refuse to get rid of the trampoline and your policy is canceled, then it may create a lapse in coverage that will cause higher premiums when you find a new insurer.
Additional Coverage To Consider for Trampolines
Medical payments coverage and an umbrella policy may be worth considering if you own a trampoline.
Medical Payments Coverage
Similar to liability coverage, medical payments coverage pays for your guests' medical expenses, but with much lower limits — typically up to $1,000 to $5,000. Due to its lower limits, this coverage is intended to treat less costly minor injuries. It can also act as a deterrent to a costly lawsuit, which would be covered under liability coverage and often has higher costs.
Medical payments coverage is included in most standard homeowners insurance policies, but not always. If your policy doesn't include it, it may be worth adding on to your policy.
Umbrella policy offers some coverage in excess to your homeowners insurance policy limits. For example, say you have $600,000 in legal and medical costs because somebody sues you after suffering injuries from your trampoline. However, you have only $500,000 in liability coverage from your homeowners insurance policy. Your umbrella policy can kick in to cover the remaining $100,000 in expenses.
How To Avoid Trampoline Claims
The following safety and security tips can help you avoid costly trampoline-related claims:
- Anchor your trampoline to the ground so it is not shaky and won't blow away.
- Consider installing your trampoline on ground with a cushioning effect (e.g., sand, dirt)
- Have safety nets or crash mats in place, especially if the trampoline is installed on concrete or another hard surface.
- Install a lockable safety net around the trampoline to deter trespassers.
- Do not allow young children to use your trampoline.
- Older children should always have adult supervision while using the trampoline.
- It's best to limit the trampoline to one person at a time depending on the size.
- Do not permit risky stunts like flips or somersaults.
- Require users to safely leave the trampoline and to not jump straight to the ground from the trampoline.
- Do not allow trampoline use while it is wet.
- Position your trampoline in a clear, flat area away at least eight feet away from objects like trees or fences.