Trampolines are fun, but they have a significant risk of bodily injury. Thus, some homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover any injuries caused by trampolines and bounce houses.
When considering the risk of injury, however, you might wonder if insurance will provide financial protection. Many homeowners are unsure whether their home insurance policy covers trampolines because most policies don’t explicitly mention it. Does it cover personal liability? Are homeowners insurance rates affected by having a trampoline?
If you own a trampoline, you should know where you are protected – and where you are at risk.
Here are some tips on protecting yourself from trampoline liability with homeowners’ insurance.
Are Trampolines Covered Under Homeowners Insurance?
The answer depends entirely on your insurance provider’s experience with trampoline losses.
There are usually three ways in which insurance companies approach trampoline coverage:
- If your policy allows you to have a trampoline without exclusions, your home insurance will most likely cover injuries when required. In case a guest is injured while jumping on your trampoline, for example, or if high winds blow it into your neighbor’s house and you are determined liable for not properly anchoring it, your liability coverage would pay for injuries. You should, however, check your insurance coverage before setting up a trampoline.
- Most insurance companies will only cover trampolines if specific precautions are taken, such as securing the trampoline with a fence or putting something softer (e.g., mulch) around it. Most insurance companies consider trampolines attractive nuisances, which means they are likely to attract children who could potentially get injured there. Due to this, you may have to implement certain safety measures to get the most out of your home insurance policy.
- As a result of the increased risks these backyard additions pose, many insurance companies specifically exclude trampolines from coverage. This means that any incidents that occur on or because of your trampoline will not be covered and that your insurer may refuse to renew your policy as long as you keep the trampoline. A trampoline should not be purchased if you cannot obtain insurance coverage.
Though you might be tempted to keep your trampoline a secret from your insurance provider, it’s best to tell them upfront. Sometimes, a provider can retroactively cancel a policy or deny a claim due to misrepresentation.
There are a few scenarios in which your policy may come to the rescue, assuming you have a policy that doesn’t exclude trampolines or that extends coverage with the right safety measures in place:
Perils and Storms
Your personal property coverage may pay for the replacement of your trampoline if it is destroyed by a hurricane, tornado, lightning strike, hail storm, fire, or other covered peril.
Your home insurance coverage can cover damages if strong winds blow your trampoline into your neighbor’s house, fence, or car. Liability insurance might cover the damages (up to your policy limits) if you were found negligent for not properly anchoring the trampoline. A trampoline that is anchored and carried away by strong winds during a severe weather event may be considered an “Act of God,” which means you cannot be held responsible for its loss.
Damage or Theft of a Trampoline
In most cases, your personal property coverage will cover your trampoline if it is vandalized or stolen, assuming your insurance policy includes trampoline coverage amounts.
Injuries Caused by Trampolines
Who pays if someone is injured? This is probably the most common trampoline and homeowners insurance question. According to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance, over 100,000 people are treated in emergency rooms each year for injuries sustained on trampolines, 85% of whom are children.
The medical care you will need if a family member gets injured on the trampoline will likely be covered by your own health insurance. If your guests get injured while jumping around, your home insurance policy’s medical payments to others or liability coverage may cover their medical bills. If they decide to sue you, your liability coverage may also cover their legal fees and court costs.
Treehouses vs. Trampolines
Often, homeowners and trampoline insurance questions arise, and because of policy nuances, it’s important to understand how trampolines or other attractive nuisances can affect your coverage. A treehouse, for example, poses similar questions or insurance considerations.
Treehouses are treated similarly to trampolines by insurance providers. Thus, many view them as attractive nuisances and will only cover them if specific safety precautions are taken. In addition, some insurance providers may refuse to insure homes with treehouses.
Before installing a treehouse, ask your insurer how it will affect your coverage, just like a trampoline.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recommends that you consider a personal umbrella policy when installing a trampoline or treehouse on your property. Home insurance covers your liability in case someone gets hurt at your risky backyard attraction, but it limits how much it will pay out, which could leave you and your family in financial ruin.
An umbrella policy gives you much more coverage, which can be very helpful if someone gets injured in your backyard and sues you.
What Is the Cost of Trampoline Insurance?
As a standalone product, trampoline insurance does not exist. As long as the provider does not specifically exclude trampolines, homeowners can still get trampoline insurance coverage through their homeowners’ insurance.
To get coverage through your standard home policy, you might need to meet certain requirements (e.g., install a perimeter net). You may need to consider whether your personal property coverage covers the replacement cost of your trampoline or if you need an endorsement to have enough replacement coverage.
What Effect Does Having a Trampoline Have on Homeowners’ Insurance Rates?
It may depend on your insurer. Adding a trampoline to your policy may result in higher annual premiums. Ask your insurance provider how much additional premium you will have to pay before buying this backyard addition.
What Are the Different Types of Homeowner’s Insurance?
Trampolines can provide wholesome fun for the whole family. Kids can burn energy while having fun outdoors.
A homeowners’ insurance policy may cover trampolines and bounce houses in one of three ways. Your policy will either:
- Provide trampoline coverage without additional safety requirements;
- Provide trampoline coverage, but require you to install certain safety equipment; or
- Not provide any trampoline or bounce house coverage whatsoever.
Your insurance company may also cancel your coverage if you violate its terms. The insurance company usually discovers violations when a representative visits your house for a property inspection or when your neighbor alerts them.
You are only covered for property damage or injury caused by third parties under the liability insurance of your homeowners’ insurance policy. Therefore, your insurance company will cover their medical expenses if your visitors are injured. If you or a family member is injured, your insurance company will not pay. You are personally responsible for the injuries you and your family suffer.
How Do I Get Trampoline Liability Insurance?
A trampoline owner should obtain liability insurance. The hospital bills associated with trampoline accidents and the potential for bone fractures are expensive. Thus, the uninsured may go bankrupt in trying to compensate the victim for a trampoline injury.
Most liability insurance policies will not cover a trampoline without any safety requirements. There are too many risks involved. Therefore, you need to do your research and comply with the policy. You may even need to hire an attorney to verify that your policy covers trampolines if you are uncertain about your coverage.
Do I Need to Get Legal Advice?
If you were injured by a trampoline or have a trampoline injury claim being filed against you, please consult a personal injury attorney. Your attorney can assist you in dealing with the insurance company regarding your trampoline injury.