Does Home Insurance Covers Trampolines and Treehouses?

Does Home Insurance Covers Trampolines and Treehouses?

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Most homeowners insurance policies cover injuries caused by trampolines and treehouses — but often there are stipulations that apply. Before purchasing a trampoline or building a treehouse, you should consult your insurer to understand exactly how either one would impact your homeowners insurance policy.

If your home insurance policy does cover injuries from trampolines and treehouses, you should know that only people outside of your household would fall under the protection of your liability coverage. Members of the household who are injured would not be able to file a home insurance claim and would instead need to 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 attractive nuisances — meaning, objects on someone’s property that might draw a child's interest while posing a risk to their well-being. Attractive nuisances are the responsibility of the property owner, and they are liable for any harm caused.

In the event that someone is injured while jumping on a trampoline on your property, you don’t want to be liable for medical costs. Costs could be extremely high, especially considering one in 200 trampoline injuries results in permanent neurological damage.

Moreover, making a single liability claim could cause your homeowners insurance cost to rise. This is due to insurers' tendency to view liability cases as likely to occur more than once.

Does homeowners insurance cover trampolines?

Most home insurance companies are likely to 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, your home insurance company may permit a trampoline only with some condition in place. For instance, it may require a safety net around your trampoline to keep jumpers from falling off. Or, it may stipulate that you must allow only one bouncer at a time to remain covered.

For example, Nationwide has detailed equipment requirements for trampoline owners to follow, such as installing tall safety nets and placing a trampoline over sand or wood chips. If a homeowner doesn’t follow these directions, they could make themselves vulnerable to a claim denial.

On the other hand, some insurance 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 their potential out-of-pocket costs for liability claims could be very expensive.

Some insurance companies simply consider the liability of a trampoline to be higher than they are willing to insure. If you buy a trampoline in the middle of your policy's term, such a company wouldn't renew once it expired. To avoid the risk of cancellation or nonrenewal, don't buy a trampoline without consulting your home insurance company.

Treehouses and home insurance

Exclusions for treehouses are less common than those for trampolines. Treehouses are comparatively lower risk. Fewer than 2,800 children are treated in emergency departments each year for injuries related to treehouses, 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.

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.

If you build a treehouse, do everything you can to eliminate obvious risks and make it as safe as possible. Choose a sturdy tree, make sure the structure is soundly constructed and be sure it is in compliance with local authorities. Treehouses should not be near any power lines or provide a view into the homes of any neighbors.

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