Trampolines provide an exciting source of entertainment, especially for children, but they also pose certain risks. Sometimes a victim injured while using a trampoline will sue the manufacturer of the trampoline based on a defect in the product, or sometimes they will sue someone else who was using the trampoline. Many of these claims are brought against the owner of the property where the trampoline was located, however, which raises the question of whether their homeowner’s insurance will cover the injuries.
The expenses arising from trampoline injuries tend to be substantial, since the injuries may involve brain trauma, broken limbs, spinal cord damage, and other serious harm. As a result, insurers are reluctant to include trampoline injuries in their policies. Some policies categorically exclude them, while other policies provide coverage only if a homeowner installs safety equipment or meets certain other requirements. Most policies do not provide coverage without restrictions. You should review the terms of your policy if you are considering installing a trampoline or another bouncy toy. The insurer may even have a right to cancel your policy if it finds out that you have one of these devices on your property. It might discover the trampoline by conducting a property inspection or, less often, by receiving a report from a neighbor.
Getting Trampoline Liability Insurance
The component of your homeowner’s insurance that would cover trampoline injuries is liability insurance. This applies when a third party makes a claim based on an accident caused by a household member or you that resulted in injuries or property damage. Most often, this arises in the context of a slip and fall accident. Liability insurance can cover medical bills, lost income, and other economic and non-economic damages claimed by a victim. These can be enormously expensive if you do not have liability coverage. A homeowner may face massive debt, foreclosure, or even bankruptcy if they are on the hook for a substantial damages award.
Each year, tens of thousands of children across America are injured on trampolines. This makes covering them particularly unattractive to insurance companies. As a result, the policies offered tend to come with restrictions. The insurer may write specific pre-conditions into the policy. For example, you might need to protect the area around the trampoline with safety nets and pads. Or you might need to lower the trampoline so that people jump at ground level, which reduces the force of any impact.
Going Without Insurance
Other insurers simply avoid the risk altogether by specifically excluding trampolines from a policy. You still may be able to get a trampoline anyway, although you may want to review the terms of your policy and talk with an agent of your insurer beforehand. This can give you a clearer understanding of your options and address any concerns that getting a trampoline will result in losing your coverage.
Assuming that it will not, you can install the trampoline with the understanding that you will be personally on the hook for any resulting injuries if a victim sues you. This means handling the legal aspects of any litigation, probably retaining your own attorney, and undertaking all of the other logistical burdens that an insurer would handle for you if your policy covered it. Most importantly, it also means covering litigation costs and paying any damages issued to the victim through a settlement or jury award. This is an extremely risky course of action, and most homeowners will decide that installing a trampoline is not worth the risk.