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You Can Climb, But You Can’t Hide

Tree houses are prime elements of childhood fun. They are clubhouses, hideaways, castles, war rooms, forts, spaceships, control centers, submarines; the list of what they can perform is limited only by imagination.

Now let’s look at a tree house with an insurance company’s eyes….oh boy! Now we have a structure with a separate value that, just like a home, garage, shed, or pool; needs specific coverage. Worse, that coverage has to be for damage to the tree house as well as for protection against losses caused by owning a tree house.

The fact that tree houses are so fun is what makes them a big problem, insurance-wise! They are attractive nuisances, which is to say, Child Magnets! Tree houses are guaranteed to make a home popular, very popular! And word of one will spread far and wide!

The fun provided by tree houses has to be tempered by the following:

  • they exist off the ground and have to be accessed by climbing to them, often via ropes or ladders
  • tree houses that are poorly maintained become even more dangerous
  • they are used by children who are playing….not thinking about how careful they should be
  • they are sometimes used by too many children….how much weight can the tree house safely handle
  • children are usually unsupervised during such play
  • access to the tree house may occur 24/7/365….including nights, weekends and other times when the homeowner is at work, or on vacation

Besides the above, consider when the household’s kids have outgrown the tree house and the owners pay even less attention to it. Depending on the location, it could even attract illegal activity!

If you have a tree house, make sure that it’s maintained and activities are supervised. Also, make sure you get an insurance professional’s help in getting protection….or else all of the fun disappears!