Home Insurance Considerations for Summer
Summer is a time when homeowners install pools and trampolines. Many homeowners see these items as fun entertainment for the summer, but they require additional coverage because of the higher risk. Let’s consider the details.
Pools can obviously be dangerous, especially for small children who don’t know how to swim but also aren’t afraid of the sparkling water. Installing a backyard pool will increase your liability risk because it is more likely you will be sued or wind up with medical expenses for a guest. Therefore you should consider increasing your liability coverage when you install a pool. Some states allow umbrella coverage to help cover this.
Also, you will want to make sure you meet all local government standards and codes such as putting up fencing and locks. If you fail to meet these requirements, you may be held negligent if an accident occurs in your pool.
Insurance providers tend to handle new trampolines in one of three ways:
1. They may cancel your insurance policy because some companies have a no-tolerance policy toward trampolines. They cancel anyone who has a trampoline.
2. The second option is they add an exclusion for trampoline injuries. This means that if you have someone over who gets hurt on your trampoline, you will be completely responsible for paying for any injuries they suffer. The insurance company will pay for nothing and you will pay everything out-of-pocket. The insurance company basically excludes medical and liability coverage for any trampoline injuries.
3. The third option is they require you to install safety netting. Since most injuries occur when someone falls off the trampoline, the risk of injury is reduced if safety netting is installed. This will likely cost you a few hundred dollars at most. In fact, many trampolines come with safety netting installed so you may want to check the specifics of your policy before making your trampoline purchase.
Some people choose not to tell their insurance company about the new trampoline because they don’t want to pay increased insurance premiums. Keep in mind that insurance companies conduct random inspections of the exterior of homes. They will see the trampoline during the inspection and can drop your coverage due to failure to disclose vital information.
Before installing a pool or trampoline this summer, make sure you find out how it will impact your homeowners insurance policy. You may find you need a new homeowners policy to reasonably cover your new recreation items, which is something your independent agent can assist you with.