Backyard Playground by ~Cytryna~
Mike and Shelly were in for a pleasant surprise as they ran into a three-bedroom dwelling while searching for a house outside Toronto. The place was not only within their budget but also carried a bonus of a sizeable playground with a set of swings and slides. A big yard attached to their house with play yard equipment would be ideal for their kids and could be the hangout place for their children’s friends, too. They also dreamt about organizing backyard parties comprised of parents and kids and that would make their house a landmark of the neighbourhood. The very idea of all these added conveniences made them feel eager to approach the seller with an offer; they even thought of going a bit higher than the asking price in case there was bidding. For Mark and Shelly, the house was nothing short of hitting the jackpot.
But no lunch comes free as every facility carries a price tag. They were unaware of the added cost.
A report from Western Direct Insurance states that having trampoline or swing set will affect your insurance rates considerably. Trampoline related accidents can result in the spraining of an ankle, a broken neck or head injury, and at times can even be fatal. According to reports, more than 50,000 children every year receive treatment from injuries they receive after falling from swing sets.
Different insurance companies have different sets of rules when it comes to play yard equipment. There are companies that will cancel your home insurance if you purchase and install the trampoline after buying the insurance policy; there are, however, some who are okay if you install some kind of safety net and take the necessary precautions to prevent any kind of accident. There are also insurance companies who will insure your house but not your trampoline. This means in case of an accident the owner will cover the cost of the injury and any legal issues that follow.
The same rules apply for swing sets, and there have been cases where a home owner’s insurance policy was cancelled altogether as they did not inform the insurance companies about the swing sets.
As a general rule, pools and trampolines and other play yard equipment see an increase in home insurance rates because of increased liability. This is why it is very important to shop around.
It is important that buyers get everything in writing about what they like or do not like to have in the property. If they are interested in a property but are not interested in the aboveground pool or swing set, there should be a clause written into the agreement asking for the removal of the item(s).
The sellers, from their side, should also make sure that everything installed is portable. This way they can offer it as part of the package or have it easily removed.
In order to play safe, the home owners many times have to buy an umbrella policy—a backup plan. This takes care of any unforeseen disasters that could take place at your house.
Whatever the case, there is scope to reduce further cost escalation. A State Farm report suggests some home playground safety tips.
In addition to installing the equipment properly as per the manufacturer’s guidelines, the home owners, while buying the outdoor equipment, should avoid pressure treated woods. Though manufacturers have stopped using this kind of material since 2004, it is always important to keep an eye out, as arsenic has been spotted in these kinds of woods. Exposure to arsenic can increase the risk of having certain type of cancers.
Swinging Feet by Eduardo Merille
The other potential dangers to look for are the openings between ladder rungs and in guard rails because playing children can get stuck in them. The openings should measure less than three-and-a-half inches or more than nine inches. Slide and platform height for kids who are in school should not be more than six feet and for those who are pre-school the height should not be more than four feet. Other measures that can be adopted are instinctive and based on common sense like adult supervision, etc.
When it comes to properties with playgrounds, trampolines, sand boxes, swing sets, climbing equipment, and aboveground pools, it is important to make sure it is something soft and easily removed.
However, increase in home insurance should not be a deterrent to the asking cost of the house; on the contrary, a property with a large playground is a big selling point. When pricing the property for listing, all permanent structures should be taken into consideration to come up with the most attractive price.
Kids love to explore and play. For children no place is safer than playing in the backyard of their house under the watchful eyes of their parents. Having play yard equipment adds to fun and excitement. However, to make such pleasures more enjoyable, home owners should do the proper homework while choosing their home insurance policy. It is advisable they get themselves armed with appropriately exhaustive coverage.