To be perfectly blunt- shit’s getting real
Homeowners insurance companies are getting serious about trampolines due to the number of claims and severity of injuries sustained from these so-called “attractive nuisances.” I wrote in great detail about homeowners insurance and trampolines when you’re buying a house in a previous post.
But what if you already have the homeowners insurance policy and decide to buy a trampoline at a later date? How do trampolines affect your existing homeowners insurance?
Of course, this happens all the time. Life events don’t always come wrapped up neatly with a pretty bow. Based on my experience at Alan Galvez Insurance, I’ve compiled a list of the most common ways trampolines affect your existing homeowners insurance.
Outcome #1- Nothing happens
As mentioned before, you could get lucky and have nothing happen. However, the chance of that is pretty slim. Our own companies have begun conducting random exterior inspections of homes. I promise if you’ve got a trampoline, they’ll see it.
Outcome #2- Your policy gets cancelled
Some insurance companies have a no-tolerance policy. Meaning that ALL people who have trampolines get cancelled. No exceptions.
Outcome #3- The insurance company adds an exclusion for trampoline injuries
One of our companies does this. They exclude liability and medical payments coverage for ANY injuries sustained from using the trampoline. This bears repeating- if your daughter’s friend does a back flip off the trampoline and breaks her neck, you’re screwed. You get to pay ALL the medical bills and I promise they’ll be staggering. Sometimes homeowners insurance companies will offer a limited coverage buy-back. Example: the insurance company offers a separate limit just for trampoline injuries- could be $50,000, could be $100,000. The premium cost? Maybe $50-100. Not too shabby to get $10s of thousands of dollars in coverage you wouldn’t otherwise have.
Outcome #4- They’ll require you to put up safety netting
The bulk of injuries happen from falling off the trampoline. So if you reduce that chance, it reduces the the likelihood of injuries. So then the next logical question is- “How much does safety netting cost? Here’s what I discovered in my research at Walmart- average cost for the net and support poles was $125.00. Pretty small investment to hopefully prevent thousands in medical bills.
If you’re seriously considering getting a trampoline
My first suggestion is always contact your insurance agent to find out which of the above outcomes you may have to deal with. It’s better to be proactive than have to scramble around to get coverage when you get cancelled. And if you’ve learned nothing else from this post- ALL insurance companies are starting to crack down hard on trampolines, so it could take you much, much longer to find coverage and be a lot harder than you anticipate. You really could run into problems.
One last thing: here’s a pretty interesting alternative to the traditional trampoline
In my research, I stumbled across a really cool concept- the sunken trampoline. Much like an in-ground pool, you dig a hole and place the trampoline in the hole. In doing a Google Search, I found a wide range of costs. The lower end was around $1,500 and the higher end was around $3,500. Considering a standard trampoline with safety netting and poles can run between $400-500, it may be seriously worthy of consideration. Risk of serious injury decreases as well- can’t tip, closer to ground, etc.
My goal is always to give you solid information so you can make good decisions. If you have any stories to share or additional advice I didn’t cover, PLEASE feel free to leave comments.
If you’re in Ohio and want to talk about your homeowners insurance, please contact me. You can also get a copy of my book, “Insuring Your First Home: Your Must-Have Guide to Make Home Buying Painless” on Amazon.com. It’s available for Kindle as well as in paperback.