How Homeowners Insurance Covers Trampolines and Treehouses

How Homeowners Insurance Covers Trampolines and Treehouses

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Most homeowners insurance policies do cover injuries caused by trampolines and treehouses, but often not without stipulations. Before purchasing a trampoline or building a treehouse, you should consult your insurer to understand exactly how each would impact your homeowners insurance policy.

If your home insurance policy does cover injuries from trampolines and treehouses, only those outside of the household would fall under the protection of your liability coverage. Any members of the household who are injured would not be able to file a home insurance claim, and would instead rely on their health insurance.

Trampolines and homeowners insurance

You could be responsible for another person's injuries on your trampoline, even if you didn't give them permission to use it.

Trampolines are considered attractive nuisances — something on someone’s property that might attract a child but pose a risk to their well-being. Anything considered an attractive nuisance is the responsibility of the property owner and they are liable for any harm it might cause.

In the event something happens to someone jumping on a trampoline on your property, you don’t want to be liable and have to pay for medical costs out-of-pocket. The liability costs could be extremely high, especially considering one in 200 trampoline injuries result in permanent neurological damage.

Moreover, making just one liability claim could cause your homeowners insurance cost to rise. This is because insurers tend to view liability cases as likely to occur more than once.

Does homeowners insurance cover trampolines?

It's likely that most home insurance companies will cover trampolines. In fact, some insurance companies won't care whether you own a trampoline or not, as long as nobody has been injured on your property.

However, it's more likely that your home insurance company will allow you to have a trampoline with some conditions. For instance, you may be required to surround the outside of your trampoline with a safety net to keep jumpers from falling off. Or you may have to allow only one bouncer at a time to remain covered.

For example, Nationwide details the equipment requirements trampoline owners should follow, such as installing high safety nets and placing the trampoline over sand or wood chips versus concrete. If a homeowner doesn’t follow these directions, they could potentially make themselves vulnerable to a claim denial.

On the other hand, some carriers might allow policyholders to have a trampoline but have written in their policies that they will not cover any claims related to trampoline accidents. This is a dangerous situation for a policyholder, since they would have to pay for potential liability claims related to the trampoline out-of-pocket, which might be very expensive.

To some companies, the liability of a trampoline is simply higher than they are willing to insure. Under these circumstances, your policy wouldn't be renewed once it expired — assuming you bought a trampoline in the middle of your policy's term. To avoid the risk of cancellation or nonrenewal, don't buy a trampoline before consulting your home insurance company.

Treehouses and home insurance

Exclusions for treehouses are less likely than trampolines because they are not comparatively as high-risk. Fewer than 2,800 children are treated in emergency departments for injuries related to tree houses each year, according to the Center for Injury Research and Policy.

Still, you should speak to your insurance company before building a treehouse to be sure you wouldn't be in violation of their policy agreement and subject to either a cancellation or nonrenewal.

Like a trampoline, if a member of the household suffers a treehouse-related injury, they will need to file a health insurance claim or pay for any medical expenses out-of-pocket. However, if a neighbor or anyone else is injured using a policyholder’s treehouse, the policyholder would be liable.

Make sure if you build a treehouse you do everything you can to eliminate obvious risks and make it as safe as possible. Choose a sturdy tree to build it, make sure it is adequately constructed and be sure it is in compliance with local authorities. Tree houses cannot give those using them the ability to look into the homes of any neighbor or be near any power lines.

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