Some of your favorite childhood memories may include springing into the air from atop a trampoline. However, not all jumps land so successfully. Tens of thousands of trips to the emergency room occur each year thanks to trampoline injuries. Nearly half involve minor injuries such as sprains, about a third involve fractures and the rest involve lacerations and severe injuries.
How do these injuries occur? A common source of injury is improper landing due to roughhousing or flipping midair. Improper landings become worse if an uncovered spring pinches and tears the skin. Another common source of injury is when two people collide midair, leading to bruises and breaks.
If you have a trampoline or are thinking of buying one for your children to enjoy, consider the following methods of enforcing higher standards of safety:
- Never let children jump on a trampoline without supervision
- Do not allow roughhousing, fighting or flipping
- Limit trampoline usage to one jumper at a time
- Full-size trampolines should be off limits to children under the age of six
- Ensure that all hooks and springs are covered with adequate padding
- Install a net enclosure to prevent children from falling off
- Do not allow children or pets to crawl underneath a trampoline while in use
Apart from the potential for medical expenses, trampolines can also increase what you pay for homeowners insurance. Why? Any home with a trampoline has higher liability risks, which can increase premiums. And that’s if you’re lucky. Some insurers will flat out refuse you coverage because of the high risk. But don’t think you can skate around the issue by not telling your insurer about your trampoline. If an injury does occur and you file a claim, your insurer has the right to deny your claim due to neglect of disclosure.
Your agent can help you find a policy that will cover your home, trampoline and all. The solution might be to purchase additional general liability coverage or it might be to purchase a personal liability umbrella policy, which adds another layer of coverage on top of your underlying policies for extremely high claims.