Insurance Companies do not like trampolines, to put in mildly. But why? We at Thomas E. Sears Insurance Agency get a lot of questions about trampolines and homeowners insurance and why it's such a bad mix. Here are your top questions regarding this subject and the answers:
1. Why don't insurance companies like trampolines? Sure, they're a great time but when your child, or your child's friend falls off and gets hurt, the party's over. Most injuries involve colliding with other jumpers, landing the wrong way or falling off. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission cites nearly 92,000 emergency room visits each year with 75,000 of those injuries involving children under age 15. What does this mean for insurance companies? A LOT of claims paid out. If your child's friend is injured on YOUR trampoline, that friend's parents can sue you for medical payments and damages and your insurance company is on the hook for potentially a lot of money - and you, too, if your limits aren't high enough. Trampolines are considered an "attractive nuisance" by insurance companies and due to the large claims paid out, they have begun to restrict coverage, or in many cases deny it all together.
2. What happens to my existing policy if I buy a trampoline? Well, it depends. If you tell us about it, we will first urge you not to do it :). We know the statistics and the risks involved. However, if you choose to still buy one, we have a duty to inform the insurance company. The insurance company will either raise your MA Homeowners Insurance rate, exclude any liability claims arising from the trampoline or they will cancel your policy altogether. The companies that we represent will either exclude liability or cancel the policy. If you never tell us about it, well, you may get lucky as long as the insurance company doesn't do an inspection. If a claim occurs, the insurance company will pay it out but will most likely cancel the policy afterwards. So really, no one wins.
3. What if I'm buying a house and want to purchase homeowners insurance... and a trampoline? Pretty much the same answer as Question #2. The insurance company will either provide coverage for you at an increased rate, provide coverage and exclude any liability arising from the trampoline or refuse to write a policy for you. Again, our companies will either exclude the trampoline from coverage or not write the policy at all..
4. Can't I just put a net around the trampoline? Some insurance companies I believe do allow this.. but not ours. The risks are just still too big even with netting.
We hate to be so dull and take all of your fun away but we want you to be informed. Trampolines are just not worth it! Often the injuries are not minor ones and the last thing you want is a lawsuit on your hands.
If you'd like to talk to us about your Massachusetts Homeowners Insurance or if you have any more questions about this please contact us. We are here to help!
Thomas E. Sears Insurance Agency, Inc.