Trampoline Insurance? Can You Get Homeowner Insurance for Trampoline Users and Other Dangerous Hobbies?
Homeowners insurance policies have many
exclusions. Many of these are due to things that are considered
to be hazards in your home or on your property. Although it is
not impossible to get coverage for these types of things, it can
be difficult and quite a bit more expensive.
Chief among the high risk items is the trampoline. If you have a trampoline in
your home, your homeowners insurance likely excludes covering it and so the idea of getting 'Trampoline Insurance' can seem rather daunting. This is because Insurance companies typically
exclude trampolines from coverage mainly because the American Academy of Pediatrics
states that trampolines should not be used at all for children in homes, on playgrounds,
or in physical education classes. Approximately 3% of US homes have trampolines
which comes to roughly 9 million trampolines.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission, or the CPSC, gives some very interesting
statistics. From 1991-1999 there were 11 trampoline related deaths. While any
death is a tragedy, these numbers are actually very low when compared to other
causes of teenage deaths.
However, it was also estimated that there are over 100,000 injuries every year that are treated in hospital as a results of injuries from trampolines, so there are very real risks associated with their use.
In 1999, the percentage of trampoline related emergency
room visits break down as follows: 40% involved the leg or foot; 29% involved
the arm or hand; 20% affected the face, neck, and head; and the remaining 10%
involved the torso. Thankfully, none of these injuries resulted in paralysis.
The dollar amount spent by insurance companies treating trampoline injuries in
one year is estimated at $280 million. Insurance companies who will cover trampolines
may require new safety guidelines about pads and safety bars to be complied with
as a stipulation for coverage. (Here is another article about Trampoline
Another high risk item in homeowner insurance coverage is a bit surprising. Swimming
pools are considered a high risk item in a home. Drowning is the overwhelming
leader in recreational deaths. The risks are many, including paralysis from diving
into shallow pools and risk of electrocution from underwater lights. This being
said, it is much easier to get insurance if you have a pool than if you have
a trampoline. Many insurance carriers require you to have safety features in
place such as a 4 foot high fence for underground pools, a removable ladder for
above ground pools, and the absence of a diving board.
Gun owners do not need to be concerned about changes to their policies. Even
though a high number of deaths in the US occur from guns, only 1,000 deaths occur
from gun related accidents and are less likely to generate a liability claim.
This turns out to be only .0002% of the 41 million American homes that possess
guns. People are more likely to be injured with air guns or BB guns. Fireworks
are also not a concern for insurance carriers, although they frequently make
danger warnings around the 4th of July.
These are a few of the more dangerous items that may or may not have a clause
or waiver in your insurance policy. Be sure to ask about these items if they
pertain to your home. Don't simply assume that they are covered. Trampolines
and swimming pools are fun, but make sure you do your homework so that you will
not be left in the lurch if an accident happens.
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