clock May 28, 2020 comments No Comments flowchart Homeowners InsuranceOur Blog tag LiabilitySafety
a girl jumping on a trampoline who's parents are wondering about the impact on their homeowners insurance

With so much time on our hands, it’s not surprising parents may be looking for alternative forms of entertainment for their kids. This may include a trampoline, swing set or even a pool, if their kids nag them enough.

While these may add fun to an otherwise ho-hum lockdown, there are many things you might want to consider before you move forward. Let’s look at a few.

Safety Issues

Of course, you can’t shelter your kids from all danger, but you can certainly weigh the risks. Unfortunately, trampolines, swing sets, and pools all significantly increase the risk of injury and liability.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 66% of play equipment injuries occur at home. Swing sets account for a quarter of those and most accidents lead to fractures, contusions or serious abrasions.

The American Academy of Pediatrics states that 85% of trampoline injuries occur at home. While the majority of trampoline-related injuries are fractures and sprains, some lead to paralysis and death.

The National Safety Council reports more than 80% of people who drown do so in a residential pools or spas. Drowning accidents are the leading cause of death and injury of children under 5 years of age and the second leading cause of injury-related death for those under 15.

Are You Covered?

Obviously, adding any of these items to your yard increases risk and it’s important to understand whether your insurance will protect you.

Talk to an independent insurance agency like ours before you buy. They understand the terms and conditions of your policy and there may be state-specific exceptions that affect your coverage.

Generally, your Rhode Island homeowners insurance policy may handle any of these items in three ways. First, and highly unlikely, your policy does not include restrictions and you’re covered if you’re found legally responsible for injuries or damage.

Second, your policy specifically excludes these items. In this case, your policy will not provide protection for related claims. However, your agent may be able to add coverage either through a rider or an additional policy.

Third, your policy provides limited coverage, providing you comply with necessary safety precautions as stated in the policy. This could include fencing off a trampoline or pool area to reduce liability risk.

We can’t stress the importance of discussing coverage before you buy. Each carrier and policy is different. For instance, some carriers exclude above-ground pools, but will insure an in-ground unit.

Policy Limits

If your policy does provide some coverage, you will still need to review your coverage limits. Most homeowners insurance policies have limits of between $100,000 and $300,000 which is woefully insufficient if you’re found liable for an injury, medical bills, legal fees, and a judgment.

Your agent will probably recommend an umbrella policy. It kicks in once you’ve exhausted the liability limit of your homeowners policy and also provides coverage for legal fees and judgments.

Importance of Disclosure

If you fail to disclose a trampoline, pool, or swing set, you risk losing your coverage. This could make it more difficult to obtain another policy at a reasonable rate. Your insurance company will not cover any claims related to these items either.

Give us a call before you buy so that you can make an informed decision. A rider or umbrella insurance policy may be the cost-effective solution you need if you decide to buy.

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