Homeowners insurance companies are telling trampoline owners to take a hike….. (or a bounce as it were)
Homeowners insurance companies and trampolines. NOT a match made in heaven.
As I was scrolling through Facebook posts yesterday, I came across this post from my friends at Rey Insurance:
So why are homeowners insurance companies so schizo paranoid about trampolines?
- Kids are falling off and breaking their necks. Not EVERY kid, but enough that the insurance companies know it’s not a matter of if, but when.
- As an “attractive nuisance”, you are still liable for injuries sustained, even if the person is on your property without your permission. No ifs, ands or buts. Your property- you’re on the hook. So if little Johnny from down the road sneaks onto your property and falls off, sustaining serious injuries, it’s all you baby. Or in this case, the insurance company.
- If someone does sustain a life-altering injury (think paralysis), then I’m pretty confident the insurance company will pay out the maximum policy amount (think $300,000).
- If you have an umbrella policy, that would step in next (if coverage does apply. In the event of a fatality, it wouldn’t surprise me if the total umbrella amount is paid as well. Most umbrella policies begin at $1 million coverage.
So we’re talking about potentially big dollar payouts here. Some of you may then question, “Well, if I have a fire and it burns down my house, isn’t THAT a big dollar payout?” Absolutely. But your house isn’t something kids want to crawl all over (unless it’s made of Legos), nor do kids tend to exclaim, “oooh, look at that beveled edge lap siding. I HAVE to go there.” One’s fun, the other’s not. Plus, the trampoline can attract many different kids at one time, with the composition of that group changing.
In essence, the difference lies in the concentration of the risk- 1 stationary house versus 12 screaming, out-of-control, sugared-up kids.
In my work with homeowners insurance and trampolines, here’s a sample of the actions my companies are taking:
For new business (if a trampoline is on premises). And please note, some of these are not mutually exclusive. Insurance companies may do a combo if they decide to insure the house at all.
- They will decline to insure the house.
- They’ll insure the house with a mandatory trampoline exclusion (meaning if someone is hurt as a result of the trampoline, YOU get to pay the medical bills. The insurance gets to walk away).
- They will insure the house, but only if the trampoline is enclosed on all sides with a safety net.
- They will add a “nuisance surcharge”- I’ve seen $100 per policy.
Bit of an eye opener isn’t it?
What if you have an existing homeowners insurance policy and THEN decide to get a trampoline?
Lucky for you, I wrote an entire post for this situation- read How Trampolines Affect Your Existing Homeowners Insurance.
There will be plenty of you that say, “The insurance company can kiss my pearly white butt- they can’t tell ME what to do.” If you’re transferring the risk to them by the purchase of an insurance policy (which is what you do when you buy ANY insurance policy), then yes, they actually have the right to tell you what to do.
My goal here is to make you think about homeowners insurance and trampolines. Give you food for thought so you can make better decisions. And if you choose to thumb your nose, then at least you’ll know what can happen as a result.
I’ve devoted an entire chapter to “Insurance Deal Makers and Breakers” in my new book, Insuring Your First Home: Your Must-Have Guide to Make Home Buying Painless. Get details and purchase information by visiting http://insurancegoddess.com/insuring-your-first-home-your-must-have-guide-to-make-home-buying-painless/.