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Jumping on trampolines can be a fun and healthy activity, but does homeowners insurance cover injuries sustained on a trampoline or damages to your trampoline? While these devices can be beneficial, they do come with some risks. According to the Mayo Clinic, over 800,000 children had trampoline-related injuries between 2009 and 2018. Bone fractures made up a sizable portion of these injuries — around 34 percent. While these injuries don’t necessarily mean you should avoid having trampolines, it does stress the importance of knowing whether your home insurance will cover incidents related to your trampoline. Bankrate’s team explains.
- Whether there is coverage for trampolines depends on the insurance provider and the safety measures taken by the homeowner.
- Homeowners may need to pay higher premiums to cover the increased risk of trampoline ownership.
- Trampolines are considered an attractive nuisance, making them risky to insure.
Does homeowners insurance cover trampolines?
Can you file a claim to cover the medical costs if someone is injured on your trampoline? Or if the trampoline is damaged in a storm, will your policy pay for repair or a replacement? Whether or not your homeowners insurance policy covers trampolines depends entirely on your insurance provider and its claim experience with trampoline losses.
Usually, insurance companies approach trampoline coverage in one of three ways:
- No exclusions: If your policy allows you to have a trampoline with no exclusions, that means your home insurance coverage will most likely step in when you need it. Your liability coverage would pay for injuries if a guest is hurt while jumping on the trampoline, for example, or if high winds blow it into your neighbor’s house and you are determined liable for not properly anchoring it. However, you still should confirm you have coverage for a trampoline before setting it up in your yard.
- Coverage under specific circumstances: Many insurers will only offer trampoline insurance coverage when the homeowner takes specific precautions, like installing a high fence around the trampoline’s perimeter or putting something softer than concrete (e.g., mulch or sand) around it. Many insurance companies consider trampolines attractive nuisances, which means they are likely to attract a child who could potentially injure themselves there. As a result, to get financial protection from your home insurance policy, you may need to implement certain safety requirements.
- No coverage: Because of the increased risk these backyard additions present, many companies specifically exclude coverage for trampolines and include the exclusion information in your policy. Not only does that mean any incidents that occur on or because of your trampoline will not be covered, but it may also mean your insurance provider will refuse to renew your policy as long as you have the trampoline. Insurance experts strongly recommend if you can’t obtain coverage, don’t purchase a trampoline.
While you might be tempted to simply not tell your insurance provider about your trampoline, it is best to be upfront about it. Misrepresentation may cause a provider to retroactively cancel a policy or deny a claim when it’s filed.
When are trampolines covered?
Assuming you have a policy with no exclusions for trampolines, or one that will extend coverage with the right safety measures in place, there are a few specific scenarios in which your policy may come to your aid:
Storms and covered perils
If your trampoline is destroyed because of a hurricane, tornado, lightning strike, hail storm fire or other covered peril, your personal property coverage will likely pay to replace it. Keep in mind that your home insurance deductible will apply, though, so your trampoline will need to cost more than your deductible, or you’ll have to have other damage from the same storm.
If a strong wind picks up your trampoline and smashes it into your neighbor’s home, fence or car, your home insurance coverage may step in to cover damages. If you were found negligible for not properly anchoring the trampoline, your liability insurance may cover the damages (up to your policy limits). But if you had the trampoline anchored and strong winds carried it off during a severe weather event, the incident may be classified by what insurers call an “Act of God,” meaning you could not have prevented it and may not be held liable for the loss. In that case, your neighbor’s home insurance should step in to pay for their damages.
Trampoline theft or damage
Most likely, your personal property coverage will provide coverage to your trampoline if the loss occurs due to vandalism or outright theft, assuming your insurance policy includes coverage amounts that account for the trampoline. Your deductible would also apply.
Who pays if someone gets hurt? Of all the trampoline and homeowners insurance questions, this is probably the most common — and for good reason.
Unfortunately, if any of your family members gets injured on the trampoline, you will likely need to turn to your own health insurance to pay for resulting medical care. But if guests get hurt while jumping around, the medical payments to others or liability coverage included in your home insurance policy may step in to help with their medical bills. In the event the injured party decides to pursue a lawsuit, your liability coverage may also help with legal fees and court costs, including any settlement.
How much does trampoline insurance cost?
Trampoline insurance — as a standalone product — does not exist. But homeowners can still get insurance coverage for trampolines through their homeowners insurance, assuming they choose a provider that does not specifically exclude trampolines. Remember, in some cases, you might need to meet certain requirements (e.g., put up a perimeter net) to get coverage through your standard home policy. And many insurers see trampolines as such a high-risk item that they simply exclude coverage.
If trampolines are covered at all, they could be seen as a much higher risk to an insurance company, meaning your premiums may increase. Insurers may implement these increases to cover the added risk of injury or property damage related to having a trampoline. Of those two risks, the risk of bodily injury may be the most significant. If your insurance company’s policy excludes trampolines, you might want to shop around to other companies.
Does having a trampoline affect homeowners insurance rates? It may, depending on your insurer. Some providers could raise your annual premium to cover the added liability a trampoline brings. Before buying this backyard addition, you may want to ask your insurance provider how much additional premium you will need to pay for a trampoline.
What are the risks of not telling your insurance company about a trampoline?
Several potential risks are associated with not telling your insurance company about a trampoline on your property. In general, these risks revolve around having a higher probability of having to pay for expenses — that your home insurance policy might have otherwise covered — out of pocket.
- Risk of claim denial or policy cancellation: If a claim arises from a trampoline-related injury or if you are found liable for an injury caused by a trampoline that you did not disclose to your homeowners insurance company, your insurer may choose to cancel your policy or not provide coverage for the claim.
- Risk of out-of-pocket expenses: The frequency and severity of trampoline-related injuries are high, but most of the injuries sustained by trampoline use are sprains and strains to the arms, legs and feet. However, trampolines can also result in more severe injuries, including skull fractures and spinal cord injuries. The cost of medical care — especially for serious injuries — can be substantial.
- Risk of lawsuit: The cost of medical care is typically a significant expense in any personal injury case, and these expenses can add up quickly, meaning that even a minor injury could lead to a large claim against you or your homeowners insurance policy. If you are sued by someone else for injuries that occurred on your trampoline, you would likely be responsible for whatever amount you are found liable for. That’s why disclosing your trampoline to your homeowners insurance company is critical. If your insurer does not cover a claim relating to your trampoline, you would have to pay any settlement out of your own pocket, which could be financially devastating.
How can homeowners avoid trampoline claims altogether?
To reduce the risk of accidents and subsequent claims, trampoline owners can reduce the risk of accidents and claims by taking safety precautions, such as putting up netting around the trampoline, positioning the trampoline away from concrete and fences and being aware of who’s on it at all times.
Some general trampoline safety precautions include:
- Putting up netting around the trampoline to reduce the risk of someone falling off
- Positioning the trampoline away from concrete and fences
- Making sure you know who’s on it
- Restricting bouncing to one person at a time
- Not allowing young children to use it
- Avoiding somersaults, back flips and other risky moves
- Requiring shoes to be worn
Having a trampoline is risky, but as long as you take the right precautions, you may be able to minimize the likelihood of injury or claim.