Misrepresenting your property to an insurance carrier—for example, telling your insurer you don’t have a trampoline when you actually do—is grounds for claim denial and policy cancellation in some states.
You know your kids would love a trampoline, but something tells you that your homeowners insurance company may not. And, you could be right.
According to the Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics, more than one million people visited the ER for trampoline-related injuries between 2002 and 2011. The total cost of the injuries alone? More than $1 billion.
Those kind of figures can make an insurance company wary. That’s not to say it’s impossible to get insurance coverage when you own a trampoline. But you should know what you’re getting into before you get one. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common questions regarding trampolines and home insurance.
Is it true some insurance companies won’t cover my home if I own a trampoline?
Sometimes. Typically, when you purchase a home insurance policy, you’re not only buying coverage for your house and personal property, but liability coverage too. Liability coverage may pay for things like the medical bills or pain and suffering for someone who was hurt on your property. This may happen if someone trips on a sidewalk you neglected to maintain, gets bit by your dog, or falls off your trampoline. Some insurers, but not all, simply consider trampolines too costly to insure due to the liability risks. Others make coverage readily available, though they may require safety equipment, like a net and pads, as a stipulation of coverage.
Can I pay extra to cover my trampoline if my policy doesn’t already cover it?
It depends on the insurance company. Those that are okay with trampolines may add a premium surcharge onto the policy.
I’m certain my friends and family would never sue me, so it’s safe to get a trampoline—insurance or no insurance—right?
If you don’t think your friends or family would sue you should an injury occur, think again. If someone needs surgery or is out of work or school, they will most likely look for compensation. Even if they don’t want to sue you, one of the first questions asked during an ER visit nowadays is, “Were you injured at work, in a car, or at someone’s home?” This allows health insurance companies to seek reimbursement for the cost of medical care from other types of insurers, such as a home insurance carrier.
If I rent my home, can I get insurance coverage for a trampoline?
If you’re a renter, you should get renters insurance, which is subject to the same guidelines as a homeowners policy. If an insurance carrier allows trampolines for homeowners, it will likely do the same for renters and vice versa if it bans them.
As a landlord, should I allow my tenants to get a trampoline?
Most likely not. If someone is injured on a tenant’s trampoline and sues, you will also most likely be named in the lawsuit, given that you own the property. If your tenant does not have any insurance, you may be the only one named. In either case, if your landlord insurance policy allows trampolines, you may have some liability coverage for the lawsuit, according to your policy. If it does not offer coverage for trampolines, you will be responsible for the costs on your own.
If I have a trampoline, should I consider an umbrella policy?
If you have a home insurance company that allows trampolines, you should absolutely consider purchasing an umbrella policy through the same carrier. Umbrella insurance provides extra liability protection on top of what your personal auto insurance or home insurance provides. Given that owning a trampoline could increase your risk of getting sued, you could very well appreciate the additional layer of financial protection that an umbrella policy provides.
Do I really have to tell my insurance agent about my trampoline?
Without a doubt. It’s better to know up front whether or not your carrier will cover trampoline-related incidents. Misrepresenting your property to an insurance carrier—for example, telling your insurer you don’t have a trampoline when you actually do—is grounds for claim denial and policy cancellation in some states.
Bottom line, if you just can’t resist your children’s pleas for a trampoline, check in with your insurance agent first. Independent agents such as Forest Insurance represent many insurance companies, not just one, so they have an understanding of which carriers will or will not cover a trampoline. It sure beats researching all the different carriers yourself, and it definitely beats any unpleasant insurance surprises that might spring up from owning a trampoline.