Inflatables…don’t let a day of fun turn into an insurance nightmare!

The Insurance realities of owning a vacation home
May 11, 2017
Teen safe driving test… Are you ready for the road this summer?
May 29, 2017
Show all

Inflatables…don’t let a day of fun turn into an insurance nightmare!

Summer is just around the corner, school is almost out, and those end of year “yay it’s summer vacation” parties are about to begin.  As the planning begins, kids beg for inflatable houses, slides, and trampolines.

It looks like so much fun. What could be better than doing a flip off the wall of Cinderella’s castle or shooting down the mouth of an inflatable dragon?  All good, that is, until an accident or injury occurs.  Inflatables are notorious for bloody noses, broken bones, sprains, and head traumas at a staggering 12,000+ injuries per year.  So you may want to think twice before purchasing or renting an inflatable for your end of school gathering, birthday party, or summer barbeque, and at the very least, talk to your insurance professional, first, to make sure your homeowners insurance will cover any mishaps or injuries.

Rent don’t buy

Renting a bounce house from a professional company is always recommended over purchasing and setting up your own.  Experts will tell you that there are no dangerous rides…just dangerous operators and dangerous installers, and that includes a homeowner who isn’t experienced with the equipment.

There are several ways to make sure your guests and you are protected when renting an inflatable.  Always make sure that the rental company is bonded and insured.  Obtain a certificate of insurance ahead of time naming you as the certificate holder.  Make sure to request a trained operator and ask to see the inflatable’s inspection history and the rental company’s safety record.  Be present when the bounce house and/or slide is being set up.  Ask to see the safety manual and make sure the company follows all the safety guidelines during setup.  If a company balks or says these safety measures are not necessary, don’t use them!  If there is a problem or injury related to the inflatable, the rental company will be held responsible and their commercial liability insurance will provide coverage.

  • The bounce house needs to be set up on a flat surface. Make sure that there are no rocks or sticks underneath it.
  • Make sure you have plenty of open space around the inflatable.
  • Never set up a bounce house near power lines or tree branches.
  • Surround the entrance and exit to the bounce house with padding.

Bounce house and other inflatable safety

If you decide to purchase or rent a bounce house, here are some safety tips to ensure that everyone has a great time with minimal risks:

  1. Make sure all children know the rules before entering the inflatable and stick to them. Remove any child that can’t follow the rules and presents a danger to others.
  2. Prohibit flips, somersaults, and rough play. Children landing on other kids cause the most injuries in a bounce house.
  3. Make sure there is adult supervision at all times, even if a trained operator is present, at least two other adults should be present and monitoring the inflatable too.
  4. Keep the “big kids” out of the bounce house…that includes teenagers and adults!
  5. Use your best judgment, but children under the age of 6 should not use a bounce house or slide. Find a different activity for your younger guests.
  6. Have children remove glasses, shoes, jewelry, headbands, and other accessories before entering the inflatable.
  7. Don’t allow too many children to play in the bounce house at the same time. Limiting the number, limits the accidents.
  8. If the day is wet or windy, skip the bounce house, altogether, and find another activity.
  9. Make sure kids playing inside stay away from the entrance and exit of the bounce house.

Will my homeowners policy cover a bounce house or slide accident?

The short answer is probably.  If a child is injured at your home or in your yard, your homeowners insurance may cover the accident under two sections of your homeowners policy, personal liability and medical payments coverage.

  • Medical payment coverage would pay for medical expenses for an injured guest, up to the limits of your policy, whether you are negligent or not.
  • Liability coverage would cover you if you are sued and are found legally liable for the injuries, up your policy limits.

But what if the accident is serious and you reach your policy limits?  We suggest you invest in a personal umbrella policy.  A personal umbrella policy will give you peace of mind.  It is a second layer of liability coverage that will go into effect, if you meet your homeowners insurance limits, to cover the remaining costs.  For less than a dollar a day, you can get one million in additional coverage.

Contact Foundation Insurance Group

It’s a good idea to talk to your insurance agent before renting or purchasing an inflatable.  Your insurance agent will review your current homeowners insurance policy, explain any exposures you may have and answer any questions about your liability and medical payment insurance coverage.  Let the knowledgeable and experienced agents at Foundation Insurance Group help you select the right coverage for your situation.

Comments are closed.