An attractive nuisance is anything on your property that is attractive to children, but in turn, could also put them in danger.
Examples of common backyard attractive nuisances include:
- Hot tubs
While these nuisances all serve as great ways for children to get outdoors and enjoy the summer sun, without the proper precautions, they can become problematic. In fact, attractive nuisances cause so many injuries when kids are out of school that summer is also known as “trauma season” among public health officials in the U.S. This is because unintentional deaths and serious injuries increase dramatically among children in the summertime.
Not only will these objects of entertainment put your own child at risk for serious or fatal injury, if one of their friends comes over to play one day and gets hurt on an attractive nuisance in your yard, you will be held liable for their injuries.
How to Minimize Your Risk
An attractive nuisance isn’t just limited to objects of entertainment like pools; they can also be anything that is on your property that draws curiosity like construction, weapons, grills, landscaping, lawn equipment, ponds, old cars, or appliances, etc.
This doesn’t mean that you will have to go and give all of your nuisances away, instead take the proper precautions to prevent the nuisances from causing harm.
Minimize the risk of an accident or injury by understanding what you have on your property that could be considered an attractive nuisance and take the necessary steps to safeguard against any future accidents.
- Keep your property clean. Pick up dangerous debris and clean up after projects that you have completed. If you have old items that you are using anymore, sell or get rid of them.
- Make dangerous items inaccessible. Keep dangerous weapons locked away in a safe, equipment, and vehicles in a garage or shed, and put a cover on pools, fire pits, grills, and hot tubs.
- Install a gate and lock system. If there is no way to make items in your yard inaccessible try installing a fence or locked gate with a no trespassing sign to help keep curious children out.
- Always supervise. If you have an attractive nuisance in your yard, never let your children or their friends play outside without adult supervision.
- Have adequate coverage. Make sure you have enough liability coverage with your homeowner’s insurance. Talk to your insurance agent and review your policy.
If you fail to minimize the risk of injury and a child in your neighborhood harms themselves (or worse) on your property, you may be subject to legal action. Read your local laws and use good judgment, if you feel like you have an item of concern in your backyard, use the steps above to help prevent an accident.
How an Attractive Nuisance Affects Your Insurance
Insurance agents look at your property to determine your home insurance rate. Certain features of your home or property could impact your rate because of their degree of danger. For instance, if you have an in-ground pool in your backyard you will likely have a higher rate because a pool increases the risk of danger.
When you speak to your home insurance agent you will need to disclose if you have any attractive nuisances on your property to protect you from getting future claims rejected, if an accident were to happen on your property.
Many people assume that their homeowner’s insurance will provide them the protection they need if someone gets injured at their home, but this isn’t always true. If you have an attractive nuisance, protect yourself and your family, talk to your insurance agent and ask about increasing your liability protection or about adding a personal umbrella policy to your homeowner’s insurance.
This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.
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