Do Homeowner’s Insurance and Trampolines Mix?

The cost of homeowner's insurance depends upon dozens of factors. These can range from location-specific issues like the potential for weather-related tree damage to general things like the age of the home's plumbing system. Homeowner's insurance may be eminently affordable or ruinously expensive. The cost of insuring your home may depend upon some less-apparent factors as well. The presence of a trampoline in your yard may affect the cost of your coverage more than many other better-known factors.

Until the last decade of the 20th century, trampolines were a fixture in millions of American yards. These devices came in all different sizes and heights: Some were designed for single users while others could be enjoyed by multiple children simultaneously. They provided endless amusement for kids of all ages. Permissive parents often willingly let kids play unsupervised on these devices.

Since the 1990s, mounting statistical evidence that trampolines are more dangerous than other conventional toys has significantly reduced the popularity of these devices. While it's possible to enjoy trampoline use in a responsible manner, the sheer number of precautions that must be followed to maximize users' safety makes them impractical for younger children. The temptation to abuse trampolines' bouncy power is simply too great.

Common injuries that may afflict trampoline users include broken limbs, sprains, torn ligaments and spinal injuries. These injuries can often be serious and cost tens of thousands of dollars to treat. As such, trampolines represent a major potential cost for homeowners who permit their small children to use them. When these children invite their friends over to play on the trampoline, their parents may also be liable for any injuries that these guests sustain while using the device.

If you're thinking about purchasing a trampoline or are looking to move into a house that already has one, talk to your homeowner's insurance company. Many providers simply don't issue insurance to homeowners who maintain a trampoline on their property. Others may still issue a qualified policy that contains a liability exemption for the trampoline. In other words, the provider will refuse to cover any medical or liability claims that arise from the device's use or misuse.

If you're committed to keeping a trampoline in your yard and hope to shield yourself from liability claims, consider asking the parents of any guests who wish to use it to sign a legal waiver before permitting their children to do so.

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