FAQ: Trampolines and homeowner liability

Find out about your liability when you put up a trampoline in your backyard. Discover if you can get insurance coverage and what happens if you cannot.

Trampolines are a lot of fun. There is no doubt about that. However, they are also very dangerous. It is often the danger that attracts children to them. For a homeowner in Missouri who chooses to put one of these in his or her backyard, there is a lot of liability. It is essential for homeowners to get the right insurance coverage and focus on trampoline safety to limit their liability.

Will homeowner's insurance cover trampoline injuries?

Many people assume that if they have homeowner's insurance, then they will not have to worry about any injuries on the trampoline because insurance will cover it. The reality is that this is not always true. According to Allstate, insurance companies take one of three stances when it comes to trampolines:

· Trampoline exclusion: no coverage

· Coverage with safety precautions: only covered with certain safety measures in place, such as a net or a fenced in yard

· No exclusions: coverage provided

What should I do if my insurance company does not cover a trampoline?

If homeowners discover insurance will not cover a trampoline and related injuries, the Leavitt Group explains they need to understand this means they take on all responsibility. If a child gets injured, the homeowner will have to pay for any medical bills and associated costs.

Some people may try to use waivers that parents of other children will sign to say the owner is not liable. These do not always hold up in court. Even if they do, this does not remove the basic responsibility of the homeowner to ensure the trampoline is in good condition and safe to use.

What injuries are common with trampolines?

Trampoline injuries can and often are severe. They include injuries to the spine, head, neck, arms and legs. Fractures, sprains and strains are very common.

Should I get a trampoline for my backyard?

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend them for home use even with safety measures as they do not seem to lessen the risk of injury. If a homeowner still wants to install a trampoline, they should enforce the following rules and restrictions to lessen the chances of injuries:

· One person at a time

· Adult supervision at all times

· No flips or other acrobatics

· Only children age 6 and up

Injuries will still happen because trampolines are dangerous by nature. Because the liability can be confusing, you may need to seek legal help from an attorney, such as Harper, Evans, Wade & Netemeyer, if your child is injured by using one on someone else's property.