We have seen it several times recently on news stations across the country…the horrifying view of a bounce house flying into the air with children stuck inside. I’m sure many parents are rethinking purchasing or renting a bounce house for their child’s birthday party this summer. Who could blame them? The amount of injuries related to bounce houses is staggering…nearly 11,000 annually! While these “flying bounce house” incidents may be considered freak accidents (or real-life horror movies), “regular” injuries from bounce houses, such as leg or arm fractures and head injuries, are extremely common and should be cause for concern for any family considering a bounce house at their next backyard barbeque.
So now to the insurance connection…does home insurance provide coverage for injuries sustained in a bounce house on your property? The short answer is “probably”. If a child is injured on a bounce house at your home or in your yard, there are two sections of your home insurance policy that could apply.
1) Medical payments coverage, which is typically between $1,000 and $5,000, would pay for medical expenses for any injured guest (but not for injuries to your own child) regardless of whether or not you are negligent.
2) Liability coverage, which is typically between $300,000 and $500,000, provides financial protection if the family of the injured child sues the homeowner and you are found legally liable for the injuries.
If the bounce house is rented from a company, the homeowner should ALWAYS make sure the rental company is insured. You should always obtain a certificate of insurance ahead of time, naming you as a certificate holder. In the event that an injury occurs and it was due to faulty installation or some other problem related to the bounce house itself, there is a strong likelihood that the rental company would be held responsible and their commercial liability insurance would provide coverage.
If you do decide to go ahead with a bounce house this summer (or if your little one begs and pleads until you can’t say “no”), here are some safety tips so that you and your family can have fun without the worry:
-If you opt to rent, request a trained operator. Make sure the operator of the bounce house has a valid certificate of operation if your state regulates inflatables. (Rhode Island and Massachusetts both regulate inflatables) Also, ask to see the bounce house’s inspection history.
– Make sure the rental company is insured! (Notice this is so important that we mention it twice in this article!) If you’re not sure what to look or ask for, contact your local insurance agent, like us here at Loiselle Insurance. We will be able to decipher the paperwork and provide feedback.
-Require adult supervision at all times.
-Watch the numbers of children in the bounce house, and keep it to a minimum. Ideally, the use should be limited to children 6 years and older, and only small numbers of children of similar ages and sizes should play at the same time.
– Read the safety manual and make sure it is properly secured. Follow all manufacturer safety guidelines.
If you are questioning whether or not you have the proper coverage on your homeowners policy, incase someone is injured on the bounce house, give us a call at Loiselle Insurance Agency. We would be more than happy to answer any question about your liability coverage.