What is an Attractive Nuisance? Can It Impact Your Insurance Rates?

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties DC AB15253

How an 'Attractive Nuisance' Can Affect Your Homeowners Insurance Rates

You know that homeowners insurance rates are based on a variety of factors such as the number of claims that you have submitted in the past.  However, one of the most important is the likelihood of someone getting injured or killed on your property. Having an “attractive nuisance” in your yard could make your insurance rates significantly higher than your neighbors’.

What Is an Attractive Nuisance?
An attractive nuisance is a feature of a property that is both attractive and dangerous to children. Some common examples are a pool, fountain, pond, trampoline, playground equipment, tree house, or broken-down vehicle or appliance. Children are naturally drawn to these things out of curiosity or a desire to have fun and often have no idea how dangerous they can be.

What Is the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine?
Court cases have established that homeowners who have an attractive nuisance on their property have a responsibility to take extra measures to protect children from harm. A homeowner can be found responsible for a child’s injuries or death if the homeowner knew that there was a chance that a child might not understand that an object was dangerous and that a child could be injured or killed by it, and yet the homeowner did not take reasonable steps to keep children safe. A homeowner can be held liable even if a child was trespassing on the property.

What Are the Insurance Impacts?
Homeowners insurance companies charge higher rates for people who have an attractive nuisance on their property because of the possibility that a child could be injured or killed and the insurance company could have to pay a large amount to settle the case. If you have an attractive nuisance on your property, you might be able to reduce your premium by taking significant, concrete steps to protect children.

If you have a pool, you can install a fence around it that is high and difficult for children to climb and that has a locked gate. A pool cover or an alarm that goes off if someone enters the pool unsupervised can also prevent accidents. If you have a tree house, fencing in the area around the tree, or the entire yard, can keep kids out. Making sure the tree house is well maintained and doesn’t have any broken wood or loose nails can prevent injuries to children who are allowed to use it. If you have a trampoline, installing safety nets and putting a fence around the trampoline or the perimeter of the yard can help you keep your homeowners insurance rates down.

Talk to Your Insurance Company
Many homeowners buy or build things to provide fun for their families and don’t understand how their insurance rates could be affected. If you have an attractive nuisance on your property, an insurance company will see it as a major liability risk. Talk to your carrier about measures you can take to protect children and keep your rates down.  Don't fail to notify your insurance company that you have that attractive nuisance on your property.  You want the insurance company to provide coverage, even if it costs you a bit more.

Comments (31)

Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Roy Kelley - thanks for stopping by - I always appreciate your support

Jan 08, 2021 06:44 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Will Hamm = your insurance agent should be able to tell you whether you have an attractive nuisance on your property and how to mitigate your liabilities

Jan 08, 2021 06:45 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 - based on the responses here, I am sure that many homeowners have not considered their exposure

Jan 08, 2021 06:46 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Ron and Alexandra Seigel - I am surprised that more people are not familiar with the concept of attractive nuisance.  It is a basic tort principle so I thought it would be more in the mainstream. 

Jan 08, 2021 06:47 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® - based on the responses from people here in the rain I am really glad that I wrote the post

Jan 08, 2021 06:47 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Nina Hollander - there are so many reasons to have an honest conversation with your insurance agent.  Dogs, Pools, trampolines.... I think many people think that if they don't tell their insurance agent about it then there is no problem... of course, there is no coverage too.....

Jan 08, 2021 06:49 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Joan Cox - it is a conversation you might want to have then with your new insurance agent

Jan 08, 2021 06:50 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Rocky Dickerson - thanks for stopping by.  I really appreciate your support! 

Jan 08, 2021 06:51 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Lottie Kendall - I am really surprised that more people aren't familiar with the concept of attractive nuisance. 

Jan 08, 2021 06:51 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Lise:

This is such valuable information for homeowners, and those looking into insurance as they consider buying a particular home.

Jeff

Jan 08, 2021 10:57 PM
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Lise.

Don't have any of those at my home.  Goo information to pass on to our agents, thanks

Jan 09, 2021 01:09 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Swimming pools are a big deal here and I always encourage owners to speak with their insurance agent about what should be done to reduce liability.

Jan 09, 2021 04:36 AM
Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI

Yes, a pool is a must in your neck of the woods...a, I mean, desert. 😀

Jan 09, 2021 07:14 AM
Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA
Realtor

I am not sure it is defined as an attractive nuisance, but when we purchased our current home, the insurance company made us take out our pool slide before they would insure it.  I understand it, but growing up our extended family had hours and hours of great fun on our grandparents diving board and slide.  We still enjoy our pool, though.  Thank you for the thoughtful post!

Jan 09, 2021 07:13 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Raymond Henson, SRES, GRI = Slides and diving boards are quickly disappearing! You are lucky to have a pool in your backyard

Jan 09, 2021 07:26 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

James Dray - I am glad that you are constantly teaching and guiding your agents!

Jan 09, 2021 07:27 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Brian England - I think that an agent who warns the buyer about the risks and expenses of owning an attractive nuisance and how to reduce that liability is someone who earns the long term trust and gratitude of their client!

Jan 09, 2021 07:29 AM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Liability, worried about being sued is on the increase in most places. Lucky to live where folks don't sue for a living Lise Howe ! Great post1 Thank you!

Jan 09, 2021 07:40 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I found this to be very interesting 🧐 

Happy Saturday Lise Howe 

Jan 09, 2021 11:37 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS - we all strive to please and inform here in the Rain - Right? have a great week.

Jan 09, 2021 04:48 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573 - I envy you a quiet and not litigious place to live!

Jan 09, 2021 04:49 PM

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