A Trampoline May Seem Fun But Know These Insurance Facts First
Trampolines can provide hours of fun. They’re good for your health and provide a great way for the kids to get rid of some of that energy they have so much of. Nonetheless, trampolines can be quite dangerous. They require supervision and inspections to make sure nothing goes wrong when you and your family are bouncing the day away.
Trampolines are fun but before you and the kids take that first jump, ask yourself this question: Am I covered?
Health Canada and trampolines
Health Canada does not have regulations regarding trampolines. However, they do suggest that your trampoline meet the ASTM International standards. ASTM, formerly the American Society for Testing and Materials, has developed standards that deal with trampoline components, assembly, instructions and product warnings. Make sure that the trampoline you are thinking of buying meets the ASTM International standards.
Read the fine print before you buy
Health Canada does not impose regulations on trampolines, so your insurance company may consider them a liability and have restrictions or inclusions in place for this specific type of toy. Read the fine print regarding the assembly and use of the trampoline carefully, otherwise you could end up with a trampoline in your backyard that no one is covered to use. Furthermore, you should contact your broker for advice on how to reduce your liability exposures. Your broker can amend your policy if necessary to enhance your insurance coverage.
Personal Umbrella Coverage
There is a type of insurance coverage called a ‘Personal Umbrella Policy’ that may be best suited for your lifestyle. If your child has friends over and one of them has a trampoline accident, you could be sued by that child’s parents. However, if you have a Personal Umbrella Policy, it will protect you against some lawsuits and cover your legal expenses if you are being sued.
Vandalism, theft and alarm systems
You should make sure your trampoline is covered against theft and vandalism. If you go on vacation, it’s safe to say that you will not be bringing your trampoline with you. When you leave, you are exposing the device to theft and vandalism so ensure that your homeowners’ insurance covers this. You may also have an alarm system installed for your home, which can reduce the cost of your premiums. You can do the same for your trampoline by upgrading your security system to include the perimeter of your home and the backyard. If you even think that your trampoline has been vandalised or tampered with, do not use it.
Keeping your trampoline safe
Besides ensuring that your insurance covers the trampoline and the people who use it, you should ensure that it is safe at all times. If you’re the only one on your block with a trampoline, you’ll notice that every neighbourhood kid is lined up to use it. Safety is the most important thing when it comes to your trampoline, even when it’s not in use.
The Canada Safety Council recommends that children under six not be allowed to use the trampoline at all, even if they are accompanied by a parent. It is more dangerous for a parent and a child under six to use the trampoline at the same time because of the weight difference between them. You should also set up the trampoline away from trees and fences, and make sure it is far enough away from your patio and barbecue.
Before anyone uses the trampoline, perform a thorough inspection. Look on top and under the edges of the trampoline for any obstructions. Also, check that the shock absorbing pads that cover the springs, frame and hooks are secure. The same goes for the leg braces, the bed and the frame. Keep ladders or steps away from the trampoline if you have young children. If they have access to the trampoline when you’re not home, they will find a way to get up there.
Finally, do not let children use the trampoline unsupervised. Trampolines do have nets and padding to cushion the impact of each jump but when multiple children are bouncing at once, the forces can be so great that it sends them flying off the structure and onto the grass below, potentially causing serious injuries.The more emphasis you put on trampoline safety, the less chance that accidents will occur.
For more information about homeowners’ insurance and to find out if your trampoline is covered, contact WB White Insurance today.
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