Home Trampolines and Liability Exposure
The insurance industry is well aware of the additional liability exposure presented by home trampolines. 80,000-100,000 people end up in the emergency room as a result of trampolines. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that owners take the following steps to prevent serious injuries:
- Allow only one person on the trampoline at a time.
- Do not attempt or allow somersaults, because landing on the head or neck can cause paralysis.
- Do not use the trampoline without shock-absorbing pads that completely cover its springs, hooks, and frame.
- Place the trampoline away from structures, trees, and other play areas.
- No child under 6 years of age should use a full-size trampoline. Do not use a ladder with the trampoline because it provides unsupervised access by small children.
- Always supervise children who use a trampoline.
- Trampoline enclosures can help prevent injuries from falls off trampolines.
Perhaps the increased use of YouTube and social media has educated people how tragically stunts can turn out, or maybe it is the increase of trampoline parks that have assisted with this decrease.
We have seen a dramatic increase in wind-related trampoline claims – and we are often paying neighbors for their damages as a result. A quick review of the user guide for most trampolines reveals that an anchoring or tie down kit is recommended (and usually sold separately). For $20-$30, your insured can prevent their trampoline from becoming a kite.
A similar preventable wind-related claim is the portable basketball hoop. Filling the base with water or sand and stored during inclement weather are typical recommendations in user guides. Filling with sand rather than water decreases the likelihood that the unit will be damaged due to freezing or lose weight due to evaporation. Most of these units can be quickly tipped if a storm is coming to prevent damage.
As you discuss these exposures with your insureds, please consider these additional warnings to prevent wind-related damages, and you might just save your insureds and your company from these exposures.