Trampoline injuries justify attractive nuisance designation

On Behalf of | Jul 23, 2018 | homeowners insurance defense

Insurance is a broad concept. While individuals have unique policies for their most valuable properties, even those properties have many nuances and details that shape the total value and its liability.

Most people have heard of an attractive nuisance. It’s an item on your property that’s known to cause injuries, yet people buy them for entertainment, exercise or other reasons. The backyard swimming pool is the example best known in popular culture, but the trampoline is another prominent example.

History and data concerning trampolines

An attractive nuisance is defined as something that might naturally draw a child to your property to play, even if they are trespassing without permission. This includes manmade items like pools and trampolines, but also industrial equipment like broken machinery and or a nearby railroad.

Trampolines are a popular form of entertainment and outdoor play for kids of all ages. While flying through the air in a seemingly contained environment may appear to be healthy exercise, there are an estimated 90,000 emergency room visits from trampoline-caused injuries each year. The American Academy of Pediatrics warn against their use, and most schools abandoned the equipment in the late 1970s. At that same time, backyard trampolines hit the market.

Dangerous and expensive

Given the high rate of injuries, which includes everything from bumps and bruises to concussions and spine damage, a trampoline is an attractive nuisance. This means insurance companies can deny coverage to homeowners, apply special exclusions in policies or enforce a zero-tolerance policy across the board.

Home owners and other policy owners often make the mistake that anything on insured property is included in their coverage. Specific assets, especially those known to cause injury, may not be. Not only that, but possession of an attractive nuisance might invalidate other parts of the policy.