Backyard Trampolines – Summer Fun or Huge Liability?

As I take my daily walk, I see several trampolines in my neighbor’s yards.  It makes me wonder:  did they contact their insurance company before they bought it?  If not, do they know that they may have no liability coverage if the trampoline is forbidden under their homeowner’s insurance policy?

According to

The insurance policies that will cover trampolines usually insist on stringent safety measures, like a safety net, or a fence that is at least 4 feet high. This is still no guarantee that you will find a policy to cover you; these things can vary from state to state. If you owned a trampoline before you bought your policy, or if you did not inform the insurance company of its existence, don’t be surprised if you get an unscheduled inspection and are asked to remove it.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that in 2001 there were almost 92,000 emergency room visits due to injuries sustained on a trampoline.  As would be expected, approximately 93% were under the age of 15, and 11% were under the age of 5.

The American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) is of the opinion that trampolines should not be used in backyards at all.   The AAP stresses –

Adult supervision will not adequately prevent injuries on home trampolines. Trampolines should be used only in supervised training programs for gymnastics, diving, or other competitive sports.

If you follow the recommendations of the AAP, you should never buy your kids a trampoline.  The risk of injury and possible insurance difficulties does not warrant the few hours of enjoyment the kids might have.

You should also not let them visit friends or neighbors who have a trampoline.  If your child gets injured on your neighbor’s trampoline, there may be no insurance to cover them except your own.

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