If you are one of the many American homes that own a swimming pool or trampoline, your house is probably one of the favorite hang out spots for the neighborhood kids. That being said, you also increase the likelihood that you will have to file a claim due to injuries sustained from swimming pools and/or trampolines, especially if they lack necessary safety precautions.
It’s important to notify your insurance agent if you have added a swimming pool or trampoline to your property. Failing to do so allows the insurance company the right to deny claims you submit resulting from these items because they were not informed of them in the first place.
If you add a swimming pool to your property, insurance companies shouldn’t cancel your policy or raise your rate, but they will want to see that safety precautions are in place, such as a fence, a locking gate, or an alarm.
Some insurance carriers will not insure you if you have a trampoline on your property. So if you are looking to purchase a trampoline, check with your agent first to see if this will cause an issue with your insurance company. You may be asked to add safety precautions to meet the company’s requirements, or you may need to change insurance companies altogether.
To reduce your liability risk if you own a swimming pool, you should:
– Add an outdoor swimming pool barrier. This is a physical obstacle that surrounds a pool or spa so that access to the water is limited. A successful barrier prevents a child from getting over, under or through it to gain access to the pool or spa. Barriers commonly include a fence, wall or gate.
**Fence gates should open out from the pool and should be self-closing and self-latching. The gate should have no opening greater than ½ inch within 18 inches of the latch release mechanism. This prevents a young child from reaching through the gate and releasing the latch.
– Add an alarm to doors, gates, windows and pools or spas to alert adults when unsupervised children enter the area of the pool or spa. Make sure the alarm sound is unique from other sounds in the house, such as the telephone, doorbell and smoke alarms.
– Add a pool or spa safety cover. This is a manual or motorized barrier that can be placed over the water’s surface, and is easily opened or closed. A cover should withstand the weight of two adults and a child to allow a rescue if an individual falls onto the cover.
To reduce your liability risk if you own a trampoline, you should:
– Discuss the importance of trampoline safety with your kids, and tell them about the risks of not using it properly.
– Keep an eye on children and inexperienced jumpers while they are on the trampoline.
– Instruct jumpers on how to safely enter and exit the trampoline.
– Do not allow children or pets underneath the trampoline while someone is jumping.
– Keep the trampoline free from foreign objects and pets. Any new object introduced to the trampoline is another potential hazard that can result in injury.
– Do not allow roughhousing or flips as this behavior can result in injury.
– For maximum safety, only allow one jumper at a time.
– Do not allow children under the age of 6 years to use a full-size trampoline.
– Use padding that completely covers the springs, hooks and the frame. Or, purchase a spring-less trampoline.
– Use trampoline net enclosures to prevent injuries from falling off the trampoline.
– Do not use a ladder with the trampoline. This encourages small children to use the trampoline unsupervised.
The Reno Agency recommends anyone who owns a swimming pool or trampoline to purchase a Personal Liability Umbrella Policy (PLUP). This policy will extend additional liability protection to you in the event a claim exceeds your liability limits on your homeowners insurance.
Not only do PLUP’s extend coverage to your homeowners insurance, but also to your auto insurance, boatowners insurance, rental dwelling insurance, etc. Depending on your insurance company, adding this valuable coverage may provide you with a discount on your other insurance policies.
PLUP’s are purchased in increments of $1 million, so talk with your agent, or call the Reno Agency at 269.792.2232, to determine what amount is appropriate for you.