Do I Need Insurance For My Backyard Skating Rink?
A backyard rink can really liven up the frigid winter months. With just a few supplies, including a bit of lumber, a plastic tarp and a garden hose, you can build your own rink and be the envy of all your neighbours.
If you are enjoying a backyard DIY rink, it’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered under your home insurance policy. You need to think about more than just the entertainment value and consider the risks that can go along with it.
What are some of the risks?
A skating rink increases the chances of injury to someone on your property or it may cause damage to a neighbour’s property, not unlike a swimming pool.
What if someone takes a bad fall? What if someone shoots a puck through a window and causes damage inside? Maybe someone sneaks into your yard for a late-night skate, you could still be considered responsible.
The reality is that scenarios like these can be a big headache if you end up on the receiving end of a lawsuit. Don’t always assume your home insurance will have you covered, it might not.
What should I check?
Make sure you have enough 3rd-party liability coverage on your home insurance policy to protect you if you’re held liable for an injury or property damage. It may be recommended to increase your liability limit for this new risk.
And before building the rink, check whether your liability insurance offers protection in the event of an accident. Look over exclusions in your policy and always check with your broker to find out if your rink is covered.
What about property damage?
Rapid melting could flood your yard, or even worse depending on location, flood your basement. So always think ahead and consider where the water will go once the ice melts.
Most home insurance policies cover water damage for things like a burst pipe or a malfunctioning appliance, but damage caused by a melting ice rink might not be included.
Also consider the proximity of the rink to others around you, the last thing you want is flooding your next door neighbour’s basement!
Set some rules
Accidents happen, to help prevent injuries, make sure everyone using the skating rink knows the rules. This includes wearing helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads if necessary, and making sure young children are only allowed on the ice while supervised by an adult.
And don’t forget…
Insurance coverage shouldn’t be your only concern when installing a backyard rink. You’ll want to reach out to local officials to see whether any ordinances apply. Some towns have restrictions on where you can place a personal rink, how long you can have it up, and even how it’s built and maintained.
If you’re planning on building a backyard skating rink, or have done so already, contact us today to make sure you’re properly protected!