Trampoline Insurance – Does Having a Trampoline Affect Homeowners

Despite their fun and active demeanor, trampolines come with a certain set of risks. They can be dangerous by nature if not used appropriately. Because of this, many insurance companies view trampolines unfavorably. So exactly how does having a trampoline affect homeowners? In most cases, a trampoline causes more headaches than not.

Trampolines are viewed as an "attractive nuisance." Essentially, this is an object that may attract trespassing children to use. Trampolines are in the same category as pools and skateboard ramps. So not only does the homeowner have to worry about their own children, but also those who may trespass onto their property. Should a trespassing child use the trampoline and get injured, the homeowner will be held liable.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Review, over 100,000 injuries were caused by a trampoline in 2006. Of those 100,000, over 70,000 were experienced by kids younger than 14. These surprising numbers make trampolines a high risk in the eyes of an insurance company.

But does that mean homeowners should avoid them at all costs? In any case, it's important to discuss the possibilities of a trampoline with an insurance agent prior to making a purchase. Not all insurance companies are the same. Speaking with an agent about the company's policies regarding a trampoline insurance will give homeowners a better understanding of what will happen.


HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE AND TRAMPOLINES


Not all insurance companies react the same way to their clients having a trampoline. Furthermore, different areas may follow a different set of guidelines. While most frown upon owning a trampoline, there are some that allow it with no repercussions. Chances are, the insurance company will provide a number of solutions.

Safety Equipment


One requirement of having a trampoline is to use safety equipment.This includes safety netting, an abundance of padding, and a fence. A safety enclosure usually comes standard in modern trampolines.

Because most injuries come from falling off the unit, it's advised to install a safety enclosure immediately. They dramatically reduce the chances of injury. The same goes with a fence.

Like with pools, many insurance companies require homeowners to install a tall fence around the perimeter of the trampoline area. They must have a safety lock. This is to protect wandering children that may want to enter the trampoline. It also protects homeowners from financial liability should that child get injured.

Exclusions


A trampoline exclusion is a way to keep the premium price down, however, it can be a more expensive option if a jumper experiences significant injuries. Basically, an exclusion is when the insurance company doesn't cover any injuries involving the trampoline at all.

This means that they don't offer liability or medical payments. On one hand, this option won't affect the premium. However, if a child goes onto the trampoline and gets hurt, homeowners have to pay for everything out of pocket.

Depending on the type of injury, this could be substantial. The amount homeowners will have to pay out only increases if the child in question was a family friend or neighborhood kid.

Increased Premium


How does having a trampoline affect homeowners insurance? In many cases, homeowners will have to pay a higher premium on their insurance.

The increase could be between $50 to $100 on average.This is because insurance companies recommend up to $100,000 of additional liability coverage on top of the standard coverage amount. This is to ensure that even the most severe injury is covered.

Some may offer a limited coverage buy-back in the same amount. Either way, homeowners are in for a larger premium. While the increase may seem significant, it offers the most protection in the worst-case scenario.

Cancellation


If the insurance company has a zero tolerance policy in their underwriting guidelines, the policy could be canceled with no questions asked. This is why it's important to contact an agent and view contract details prior to buying a trampoline.

It's not uncommon for companies to essentially ban trampolines altogether. They have the legal right to cancel the policy of a homeowner who gets a trampoline. A cancellation will only cause a chain reaction of headaches, such as mortgage problems.

Luckily, insurance companies often let their clients know ahead of time before the cancellation goes into effect, allowing them to resolve the issue.


MATERIAL MISREPRESENTATION


Material misrepresentation is when the homeowner doesn't disclose that they own a trampoline to the underwriter of the contract. This can be a huge issue when the homeowner needs to make a claim.

The insurance company can outright deny the claim if they prove that the homeowner didn't disclose everything. The claim doesn't even have to involve the trampoline. Basically, the homeowner lied and hid the trampoline to avoid a change in policy in the eyes of the insurance company. This is usually enough grounds to deny a claim of any sort.


RENTAL PROPERTIES WITH TRAMPOLINES


Some renters insurance companies cover injuries from a trampoline. As a renter, it's important to check with the landlord and go over the lease agreement.

In most cases, landlords don't allow trampolines, and with good reason. Landlords are held liable because they own the property. They can get sued by tenants that don't even disclose that they own a trampoline.

Furthermore, landlords can get their own insurance policy canceled. It's important that landlords look for trampolines on tenant properties to avoid issues.



TRAMPOLINE INSURANCE CONCLUSION

Trampoline Insurance: "So, does having a trampoline affect homeowners? In short, it often has a huge effect. All in all, homeowners insurance and trampolines don't often mix. Because of the numbers regarding injuries, they are often viewed as dangerous pieces of equipment rather than backyard fun. Homeowners wanting a fun trampoline for their family need to have a talk with their insurance agent to view their options. It's important to contact them and follow all of the safety guidelines to ensure that ownership doesn't break the bank and jumpers stay safe at all times."

References:

www.allstate.com

http://www.reuters.com/

http://www.nolo.com/

http://livingonthecheap.com/