Buying a trampoline can be a fun, wholesome activity for the whole family. It gives your kids a way to burn energy and can be a great way to make the outdoors more appealing.
Considering the risk of injury however, you might be left with questions pertaining to insurance and whether or not it would provide financial protection. Since most home insurance policies do not explicitly lay out the trampolines-insurance connection, many may wonder if their coverage extends to the trampoline. Will it cover injuries? Does having a trampoline affect homeowners insurance costs?
As the owner of a trampoline, you need to know where you have protection — and where you may have risk.
Does homeowners insurance cover trampolines?
That depends entirely on your insurance provider. 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 for injuries. 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.
- 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 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 from policies. 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.
While you might be tempted to simply not tell your insurance provider about your trampoline, it is best to be upfront about it. Misrepresentation can occasionally cause a provider to retroactively cancel a policy.
When are trampolines covered?
Assuming you have a policy with no exclusions for trampolines or 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:
If your trampoline is destroyed in a hail storm, fire or other covered disaster, your personal property coverage will likely pay to replace it.
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 an unusually high wind carried it off, the incident may be found what insurers call an “Act of God,” meaning you could not have prevented it and will not be held liable.
Trampoline theft or damage
Again, your personal property coverage can step in to pay for damage to your trampoline by a vandal or its outright theft, assuming your insurance policy includes coverage amounts that account for the trampoline.
Who pays if someone gets hurt? Of all the trampoline and homeowners insurance questions, this is probably the most common — and for good reason. Between 2002 and 2011, more than 1 million Americans visited the emergency room because of injuries they sustained on a trampoline.
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 expenses. But if guests get hurt while jumping around, the liability coverage included in your home insurance may step in to help with their medical bills. And in the event they decide to pursue a lawsuit, your liability coverage may also help with court costs, including any settlement.
Trampolines vs treehouses
It is not uncommon to have trampoline and homeowners insurance questions, and because of the policy nuances, it helps to understand how trampolines or other attractive nuisances can impact your coverage. Similar questions or insurance considerations apply to other fun additions to your property, like a treehouse.
Insurance providers see treehouses fairly similarly to trampolines. That is, many see them as attractive nuisances and will only cover them with specific safety precautions in place. Additionally, some insurance providers may refuse to insure homes with treehouses altogether. Just like a trampoline, you benefit from asking your insurer about how it would affect your coverage before installing a treehouse.
If you do choose to put in a trampoline, a treehouse or both on your property, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recommends that you consider a personal umbrella policy. While your home insurance does offer some liability protection if someone gets hurt at your risky backyard attraction, it has a cap on how much it will pay out. With an umbrella policy, you get significantly more coverage, which can certainly come in handy if someone decides to sue after they or their child get injured in your backyard.
How much does trampoline insurance cost?
Trampoline insurance — as a standalone product — does not exist. But homeowners can still get trampolines’ insurance coverage 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 home’s policy. Depending on the limit of personal property coverage, you may need to consider whether it accounts for the replacement cost of your trampoline.
Does having a trampoline affect homeowners insurance rates? It may, depending on your insurer. Some providers could raise rates to cover the added liability a trampoline brings. Before buying this backyard addition, you may want to ask your insurance provider if it would mean a rate hike.