Attractive Nuisances: How They Affect Insurance

A swing set in a back yard, used to dedicate an attractive nuisanceWe’re in the dog days of summer, and despite quarantine, children are excited about playing outdoors. Although it’s important to encourage children to stay active, you also teach them about the potential hazards in your neighborhood. These hazards can come in a variable of shapes, from playground equipment to power tools. However, it’s also important to be wary of the dangers features on your property present to others. Learn more about what insurance carriers refer to as attractive nuisances and how they affect insurance.

What Are Attractive Nuisances and Why Are They Dangerous?

Attractive nuisances can be classified as any potentially dangerous feature on your property that has the capacity to lure children into unsafe situations. They can be something as obvious as a pool to lesser-known risks, such as a low-hanging roof or landscape designs. Features such as these are like magnets for children due to their propensity for adventure, and even though it might be technically trespassing, in the case of injuries you’re likely to be found liable in court.

What Are Some Examples of Attractive Nuisances?

There are numerous examples of attractive nuisances, but you aren’t liable for some of those beyond your control – such as natural ponds, cliffs, falling trees (unless they’re old), and wild animals on your property. However, some common features for which you may be held liable for include:

  • Water Features: Pools are a commonly known attractive nuisance, but other features like fountains and wells can also result in drowning.
  • Low Rooftop: Children like to climb, so if your rooftop is easily accessible from the ground, it can lead to dangerous situations such as falls.
  • Playground Equipment: Swing sets, slides, and climbing equipment are magnets for children, as are treehouses, trampolines, and ziplines.
  • Construction and Lawn Equipment: Not only are exposed power tools, ladders, and machinery like lawnmowers and leaf blowers dangerous, but so are woodpiles, building materials, and discarded scrap.

There are a lot of less apparent nuisances beyond those given, such as sand piles, paths, and stairs, so it’s a good idea to consult with your independent insurance agent what features may influence your insurance rates.

How Can I Protect Myself and Others from Harmful Situations?

Fortunately, protecting others from the attractive nuisances on your property isn’t very difficult. For example, if you notice things on your property that would seem interesting to a child, make it as inaccessible to them as possible. Ensure you surround water features with a fence, install alarm systems that survey dangerous areas, and keep your property free of clutter and debris. These measures won’t only prevent injury, but they can also protect you from liability should a child still become injured despite the precautions. (Be mindful that private property or hazard signs will not help you in court if the trespasser is a child.)

Using Insurance as an Additional Layer of Protection

The increase in your homeowners insurance for attractive nuisances is negligible – usually an additional $50 or lower per year – and this typically covers $100,000 to $300,000 in damages. However, if you feel that you’d benefit from extra protection, you can consider investing in additional liability coverage or umbrella insurance.

Learning about attractive nuisances and how they affect insurance can help you determine how to best protect your family and neighbors. It’s always wise to check with your insurance agent to find out how much coverage you have for your existing attractive nuisances and for any you intend to introduce in the future. At TJ Woods Insurance, we can make sure you are outfitted with a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy and any additional liability or umbrella coverage for your needs. Contact us if you have any questions regarding attractive nuisances and appropriate coverage.