The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and the days of Old Man Winter are becoming a distant memory. Summer has officially arrived and what a wonderful time it is. But outdoor family activities such as barbequing, swimming or bouncing on a trampoline can be dangerous, and failing to prepare for the worst could cost you a fortune down the road.
Before you fire up the grill and gear up for the spring and summer months, take a few moments to make sure that your home insurance policy covers all your outdoor needs.
First, we take a look at ‘Barbeque Guy,' the man who loves nothing more than a good old-fashioned backyard BBQ. He has the biggest gas grill, the brightest personality and the pool with the longest diving board. Everyone loves Barbeque Guy.
Unfortunately, Barbeque Guy doesn't realize that an estimated 2,000 grill fires will damage homes this year, and fails to take adequate safety precautions during the cookout. By placing his grill on a wooden deck or below a low-hanging tree, Barbeque Guy is putting himself at risk of damaging his home, and could lose his shirt should his mistake result in a patio or home fire.
Before you fire up the grill, take a few moments to learn some basic safety tips, such as always wearing an apron, tucking in loose clothing, going easy on the lighter fluid and, of course, always keeping a fire extinguisher nearby.
While grilling, you and your guests may want to take a dip in the pool. But look before you leap, because swimming pools can spell major trouble, too. Each year, over 43,000 Americans are injured in and around swimming pools, with nearly 300 cases of drowning reported annually.
Adding a swimming pool to your policy may increase your premium, leading some homeowners to neglect to notify their home insurance company after adding a pool-a big mistake. If you fail to notify your home insurance company about a new swimming pool, any pool-related claims you file will likely be denied.
Believe it or not, if someone uses your pool without your permission, you may still be held financially responsible if someone is injured, so make certain to keep an adequate level of home liability insurance even if you're not a frequent swimmer.
Last but not least on our list of summer policy perils is the trampoline--a home insurance company's worst nightmare.
Imagine this: You buy a brand new trampoline, and it becomes the envy of the entire neighborhood. One warm afternoon, the neighbor's daughter takes a hard fall while roughhousing on your trampoline, and she's rushed to the emergency room. Her wrist is broken, and the medical bills are through the roof. It's an awful situation, but at least your home insurance will cover the expenses, right? Don't count on it.
Insurers view trampolines as a lawsuit waiting to happen, and most won't extend coverage to trampolines. In fact, your current insurer may threaten to terminate your policy if you purchase one.
With summer fast in full swing, it's time to... review your home insurance policy.
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