Have fun safely this summer

When the kids are out of school and families are spending more time outside, increased risks and higher liability costs can result. Common insurance dangers during the summer and important tips for homeowners are highlighted below.

Swimming pools

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 350 children under age 5 drown each year in swimming pools and another 2,600 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms each year following near-drowning incidents.

Safety standards include, but are not limited to:

  • Pools must have a fence with a locking gate that meets state height requirements. An above-ground pool also requires a locking gate and lift-up stairs or removable ladder.
  • Pool entrances must be locked when the pool is not in use and well-supervised when in use.
  • Avoid pools with diving boards and slides.

Trampolines

General Casualty, along with many other property and casualty insurance companies, does not insure homes with trampolines. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that more than 100,000 children were injured on trampolines between 1991 and 2002. The resulting legal, medical, disability and insurance expenses exceeded $270 million.

Dogs

Some dog breeds may also be dangerous. Those that raise a red flag with many insurance companies include*:

  • Akitas
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • American Staffordshire Terriers (or any breed of pit bulls)
  • Boxers
  • Chow Chows
  • Doberman Pinchers
  • Dogo Argentinos
  • Filas
  • German Shepherds
  • Huskies
  • Mastiffs
  • Presa Canarios
  • Rottweilers
  • Tosas
  • Wolves or wolf-mixes

Security for yourself and others

If you already have or are thinking of purchasing any of the above items

  • Consult with your insurance agent to ensure you have adequate coverage. Be sure all pool users know how to swim.
  • Have your dog spayed or neutered – this helps reduce the likelihood the dog will bite.
  • Socialize with your dog so it knows how to act around people and other animals and play non-aggressive games, like "fetch" instead of tug-of-war.

*Dog breeds considered dangerous are subject to change. Please consult your independent insurance agent for more information.