When the weather is warm, many people go outside to enjoy the fun activities that come with sunny days. These happenings may involve spending time in a backyard pool or bouncing on a trampoline. For other people, regardless of the weather, it’s gathering around a fire pit with friends. These pastimes, although fun, are also risky—to you as a homeowner—and to those engaging in the activities. The right insurance coverage can help safeguard your fun. Let’s explore each activity to see how you may be able to reduce your risk.
Trampolines have become a popular backyard activity for many people, especially younger ones. And while jumping around doesn’t seem like it should be dangerous, over 100,000 people—more than 90% of whom are children—end up in emergency rooms for trampoline-related injuries, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Many insurers differ in their approach to trampoline coverage. Trampolines are often viewed as an “attractive nuisance,” meaning children use this equipment without understanding the risk. It also means that you may be liable as a homeowner if a child is injured on your trampoline—even if they use it without your permission.
Under the attractive nuisance doctrine, insurance companies say that you, as a homeowner, have a legal obligation to make the attraction inaccessible to curious children or eliminate the danger.
Insurers seem to vary on trampoline coverage. Some insurers will include trampoline coverage as part of a standard homeowners policy with no extra charges, while others say they cover trampolines only if they meet specific safety rules. Other insurers may limit the amount of liability coverage.
It’s critical to know whether your insurance company will provide you with trampoline insurance—before you purchase. If your insurer refuses to provide trampoline coverage, you could face significant financial hardship from a trampoline liability claim. You should find an insurance company that will give you trampoline coverage before buying one rather than discovering your current insurer won’t cover the risk.
Another fun activity many enjoy is spending time around a fire pit with family and friends. This leisurely pastime is often done all year long, making it essential to understand the risks involved with having an outdoor fireplace on your property and how it may affect your insurance.
Fire pits are typically covered on most homeowners insurance policies unless your insurer expressly excludes them. Whether your insurer provides coverage for it depends on the type of fire pit you have and your specific homeowners policy. It’s best to talk with your insurance agent before you purchase or build one.
Fire pits pose numerous potential liability issues, including:
· Fire pits that are too close to a home or outdoor structures.
· Fire pits that are too close to a neighbor’s fence or outdoor structures.
· People may trip or fall into fire pits and hurt themselves.
Make sure you discuss liability coverage with your insurer and take precautions when setting up or installing your fire pit. Outdoor fireplaces can be fun, but you need to know their risk.
Swimming pools are backyard fun for many homeowners. However, it’s important to know if you have the proper insurance protection before buying a home with an in-ground pool or adding an above-ground pool to your backyard.
Whether above-ground or in-ground, swimming pools may be eligible for homeowners insurance coverage as a “scheduled structure.” Because a pool is a detached structure, unless you’ve specifically added your pool to your homeowners policy, it’s not covered.
You must let your insurance provider know that you plan to add a pool to your property since they might not cover a claim if they aren’t aware of it. You may want to add umbrella liability coverage for any injuries sustained because of your pool. This coverage can help cover bodily injury, medical expenses and potential legal fees.
Pools are risky compared to other areas around your home. Umbrella liability insurance supplements your homeowners policy limits, which may be a worthwhile consideration.
Enjoy the Outdoors—With Protection
Regardless of the recreational investment you plan to make—or have already made—to your home, it’s essential to ensure you have established insurance coverage. Eckenrode Financial Services LLC can help you to enjoy the outdoors with the protection you need for hours and hours of fun.
This blog is intended for informational and educational use only. It is not exhaustive and should not be construed as legal advice. Please contact your insurance professional for further information.