If my children’s playset is in our unfenced backyard, can our homeowners insurance be cancelled?
UPDATED: Jun 25, 2012
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Asked June 25, 2012
A playset, while not be as dangerous as a pool, is still a potential liability for the insurance company. To some insurance companies, having it in an unfenced yard could be considered tantamount to inviting the neighborhood children to come over and play. This alters the statistics of insuring your home dramatically, and failing to fence in the playset could even lead to a loss of coverage.
Your insurance company has the right to require you to enclose any potentially dangerous items, even toys and exercise equipment, as a condition of your policy. They can also exclude such items from coverage, keeping the remainder of the policy in effect. You also have the option of seeking a different insurance company which will cover the toys even without a fence around the yard.
If you are not in agreement with your insurance company about what should be covered, and neither one can convince the other that there is a peaceful solution, it may be time to get homeowners insurance quotes from other insurers. Make sure that the policies you compare have the coverage you need, and then notify your insurance company of intent to cancel your own policy. You are not required to tell the insurance company why you dropping their coverage, but you can do so if you wish.
If the insurance company has required you to install a fence and you have not done so, they bare within the rights of the policy to cancel your homeowners policy. A playset or swingswing set introduces a great deal of potential for liability suits, and unless you are willing to take reasonable steps to keep uninvited guests at bay, the insurance company could regard the risk as being too high. You would then be given a 30 day or longer notice of cancellation, during which time you would need to find a new insurance carrier.
Answered June 25, 2012 by Anonymous