Why the Neighborhood’s Favorite Backyard Needs Protection

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The dog days of summer are in full swing, and everyone in the neighborhood wants to congregate at the Millers’ house—because the Millers have a veritable backyard of playground delights that reflect a myriad of risks for their homeowners insurance in New Jersey: a shimmering grotto of a swimming pool, a Jacuzzi that seats seven, and even a pool slide that deposits swimmers right into the 9-foot depths under a waterfall. Alongside the sparkling pool sits a full-size trampoline, just waiting for wannabe Olympic gymnasts to tumble and flip on. To the rear: a batting cage, complete with a mechanical pitching arm. A large outdoor kitchen complete with refrigerator, barbeque grill, rotisserie, and stove top means preparing meals are a snap. Add to that a plasma tv enclosed for protection from the elements, a sound system, an ornamental fire pit, a separate enclosure for the two large dogs, and altogether it adds up to an idyllic setting that nevertheless represents a variety of risks that could leave the happy couple liable for tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

What could happen?

Oh, so many problems, starting at the walkway, where someone could slip and fall. That sparkling pool and spa present a drowning hazard, and unless secured with a fence, could be considered a dangerous nuisance that attracts children. The trampoline is a common source of backyard injuries, from simple sprains to broken bones, concussions, and even paralyzing spinal injuries. When it’s batter up at the cage, beware of hard balls flying at lightning-fast speeds, causing injury to those who are caught unawares and get hit in the body or the head. Burns can occur if one should fall into the fire pit’s flames, or carelessly put a hand on the hot stove or barbecue. Bites are always a possibility whenever one has dogs on the premises, no matter how friendly they appear to be. And of course, electronics that are kept outside are prone to theft.

Protection is the best way ahead

Contact a professional for guidance on how to sidestep these and many more risks with homeowners insurance in New Jersey. Whether one’s backyard is a simple grassy square or a miniature amusement park, it’s best to be covered for the unexpected.


photo credit: Bradley Wells cc