As a homeowner, sometimes there are just certain things you absolutely must have. Maybe it’s the solar panels on your roof. It could be the sky lighting in your loft. The beauty of owning your home is that you can finally have the things you want in your home.
However, some things may not be worth the trouble, expense, or potential liability. These are known as “attractive nuisances.”
What is an Attractive Nuisance?
This is any item located on your property that could be both potentially dangerous to a child while at the same time be very inviting to them. These are things they want to play with or get on top of (or get inside of) that could cause bodily injury or even death.
In order for something to be considered an “attractive nuisance” by the legal definition, certain criteria must be met:
- As the property owner, you must possess the knowledge that there’s a chance children could trespass on your property.
- The object could cause injury or death.
- The children are too young to understand the danger.
- The cost to repair or maintain the object is small when compared to the risk is poses.
- You didn’t take the reasonable and necessary action to eliminate the object if repair or maintenance was no longer an option.
Take a look at four attractive nuisances that can cost far more than they’re worth.
Every summer there’s a story about a child who wanders into a backyard and falls or jumps into a pool and drowns. The stories are tragic. There’s a good chance the owners will be found responsible and the pool will be deemed an attractive nuisance. Most insurance carriers won’t cover a pool unless you have a locked gate around it at all times. Better still, keep it covered.
Make sure there’s a full net around your trampoline and it’s set up properly and securely. With a trampoline, you’ll have to be vigilant about watching to make sure no curious kids wander into your yard to bounce on it. Consider a locked fence around your yard for added security.
No kid can resist a swing set. The words “Watch me go higher!” may seem fun and remind you of your own youth, but this is a homeowner’s nightmare. Keep an eye on your yard to make sure no one trespasses to get a quick session on the swing in. Maintain the swings so that they’re as safe as possible. When your children outgrow it, take it down so it doesn’t entice other children to wander in and play.
Most water features, like ponds, are made to look natural. Because they’re not, they’re deemed attractive nuisances. A child may dive headfirst without thinking about it, but you’ll be the one at fault. Put up signs, lock your gate, and be diligent about watching that area to make sure no one goes running through the water unsupervised.
If you can’t live without one or more of these attractive nuisances, increase your liability coverage, add an umbrella policy to cover what your homeowner’s policy doesn’t, and be extra watchful over those areas of your home. You’ll need to keep an eye out for the potential danger, every day, all year long.
If you need additional coverage or have questions about your current policy, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you find the right coverage for your home.