A backyard trampoline is a ton of fun for the kids, but most homeowners have learned that insurance companies are not crazy about them. What’s the deal with a trampoline and my homeowners insurance?
We’ll start with some statistics, from a recent ABC News report.
- 98,000 trampoline-related injuries occur each year
- In 2009, the last year emergency room data was available, 3100 people were hospitalized due to a trampoline-related injury.
- Trampolining is 2nd only to football as a sport causing permanent paralysis.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics has been officially discouraging the use of recreational trampolines since 1977.
- 75% of injuries occur when more than one person is using the trampoline at a time.
- 50% of injuries of people under 5 years old involve fractures or dislocations.
Julie Bradstreet, CIC, CPIW, manager of our Mars Hill office, says, “Trampolines are not acceptable for most standard insurance companies due to the nature of the risk. Under the homeowner’s policy, liability covers injuries sustained by non-family members while visiting your home. A friend, if injured while on the trampoline, would be covered. Due to the fact that many injuries have occurred and can be serious, the company will not accept this risk.”
What about swimming pools?
Swimming pools present a similar risk for liability. However, insurance companies have data that suggest that safety measures used to prevent pool-related injuries are much more effective than safety measures for trampolines. So, it may seem easier for the homeowner to insure a home with a swimming pool than a trampoline, if the pool meets the safety requirements. The American Academy of Pediatrics offers this explanation, “A key difference between swimming pools and trampolines is that safety recommendations for home swimming pools (ie, 4-sided fencing that completely isolates the pool from the house and yard) are a focus for many groups concerned with public safety, but trampoline safety information has not been as well-studied. Many parents and supervising adults do not appear to be aware of the key components of trampoline safety. For instance, limiting the trampoline to 1 user at a time may contribute significantly to current injury rates.”
Perhaps education and awareness are the keys to reducing trampoline-related injuries. In the meantime, insurance companies will probably continue to frown upon the activity. It is true that a company may decide to non-renew your policy if it discovers you own a trampoline. It is always best to be up-front about it with your agent. As an independent insurance agency, we represent many different insurance companies with different rules. We have YOUR best interest at heart! Contact us today!