Attractive nuisances can have a significant impact on our home insurance policies. Let’s take a closer look.
An attractive nuisance sounds like an oxymoron and it is exactly that. Note that insurance companies just do not like them. So, you may be wondering what exactly they are, where they are and why they are considered a nuisance if they happen to be so attractive.
Attractive nuisances are sort of similar to fatal attraction, and very often we happen to find them in our own very backyards. They happen to be attractive to a demographic that can be best described as being one of the most unassuming victims, yes we are talking about children. You may have gone through the process of child-proofing your home to the best of your ability but know that there is a lot to child-proofing than having to just worry about electrical outlets. Children may often unfortunately not realise that they are placing themselves in the way of harm because the whole thing seems very innocent to children and also adults at times. It doesn’t matter what appearances, intent or direct responsibility there were, when there is an accident that involves a child, the courts do take a drastically different approach. That approach is what is known as the attractive nuisance doctrine. Insurers will in all cases want to avoid having to pay for any accidents that may happen due to an attractive nuisance.
What is an attractive nuisance?
Simply put, attractive nuisances are things that exist on your property that have the potential to be dangerous, and in most cases, it is so for children and also the elderly. It is something that you have intentionally put inside your property and although it may be attractive, it poses certain risks and dangers, opening the room for different types of insurance claims to be filed.
Attractive nuisances will include a wide variety of things. Some of these are very obvious and some, not so much. It is very important to know exactly how much of these nuisances exist in your property so that you can make the correct decision of how much coverage to purchase. Let us take a look at some of the most common types of these nuisances.
We all know how fascinated and content children are by the very simple process of looking at toy trains running laps around and around. You may think that this is why railroads pose no real threat. But it is not such a small matter, afterall, real railroads and the safety of children is no small matter. It is for this very reason, the allure of railroad turntables, that eventually did lead to the “turntable doctrine”. This is what preceded the attractive nuisance laws after it was established that homeowners are responsible for trespassing children.
2. Swimming Pools
The very attractive and beautiful pools that many people have in their backyards have the potential to be the ultimate attractive nuisance, in fact, they seem to be the best example of what exactly an attractive nuisance is. We all love swimming pools in the summer, like literally we all do. Sometimes our pets also love them. While it may all be a lot of fun to take a dive in the pool on a hot day of summer, it definitely is not that fun when people and especially children do not understand the concept of boundaries around the pools they are at. One thing that is definitely not funny is the unfortunate deaths and injuries that we see arising from pools and nor is it funny if you have to bear the brunt of the expenses in any accident that may happen to take place on your very own property. If you happen to have a pool then your home insurance company will in all likelihood require that you have your pool gated securely and that it remains locked at all times. If you do not do that, and it does not matter if you don’t do it before buying the policy or afterwards, you will be facing denial of coverage from insurance providers. You will also have to deal with claims that are denied, policies being cancelled and very likely, large liability lawsuits which you are responsible for settling on your own and out of your own pocket.
3. Farm Equipment:
A lot of people and especially people who reside in the countryside, often have farms within the confines of their property. Farms do vary a lot when it comes to size but one that courts believe in is that all farmers should install fencing that is safe. In other words, safe fencing. Also, courts have ruled that it is not necessary to move large farm equipment and they have also ruled that live animals are also not an attractive nuisance.