Backyard Trampolines May Lead To Cancelled Homeowner Insurance

Liability A trapeze artist named Du Trampoline created the first trampoline in the 19th century by using the safety net as propulsion and landing device according to circus lore. In 1936 George Nissen invented the trampoline as we know it today. During the 70-year history trampolines have been used for training of the U. S. Navy Flight School, astronauts and in several other valuable ways for training.

Fitness experts, agree the trampoline can be a valuable part of a fitness program, because of the cardiovascular benefits, low impact, and for building muscle. The first trampoline gymnastics event made its Olympic debut at the 2000 Summer Games.

Trampoline sales have sky rocketed over the years with an estimated 640,000 trampolines sold in 1998. As the popularity of trampolines has soared, so have the injuries.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission Reports:

  • Trampoline injuries almost tripled from 1991 to 1999.
  • Nearly two-thirds of those injured were children aged 6 to 14.
  • Since 1990, there have been 11 trampoline related deaths.
  • In 1999 there were over 100,000 incidents of hospital room emergency treatment for trampoline injuries.
  • An estimated 640,000 trampolines were sold in 1998, more than a 350% increase in sales from an estimated 140,000 sold in 1989.
  • An estimated 3 million trampolines are in use today.
  • Children can bounce up to 30 feet on a trampoline.
  • 40% of all injuries are to the leg/foot area.
  • 4% of all trampoline emergency room treated injuries result in hospitalization.

Insurance companies have watched the backyard trampolines quickly go from being a non-issue in underwriting to a factor used to disqualify a risk, and cancel homeowner insurance policies. Most Insurance companies will exclude any liability insurance coverage for household trampolines and will cancel policies when trampolines are seen during a drive by home inspection.

The main reason insurance carriers started excluding trampolines was in response to a policy statements of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which states categorically that trampolines should not be used at home, on playgrounds, or in physical education classes. Even with the proper safety measures in place.

Insurance companies have paid great attention to the latest statistics which indicate there are about three million backyard trampolines in use in the United States. With an estimated cost of medical, legal, insurance, and disability expenses resulting from trampoline accidents exceeding $270 million a year.

Some recent reports indicate trampoline injuries account for more injuries requiring emergency room treatment then backyard swimming pools do.

Point If you have a backyard trampoline you may want to contact your homeowner insurance company to be sure you have liability in the event someone visiting you home is hurt. If you let your children play at a home with a trampoline be sure you have good medical insurance for your child in the event they are injured because you neighbor or friend may find they don’t have liability insurance to cover an injury to your child.

Photo credit for this blog entry: sxc (no use restrictions for this photo)

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