When you’re a kid, a treehouse is the ultimate form of fun. It’s like your own exciting castle, just like you see in the movies. You can climb it, hang out in it, play make-believe in it, or just hide away for some peace and quiet. It’s just like the house the adults have, except way cooler since it’s in a tree.
There’s still some magic to treehouses when you grow up, but there are also some harder realities. If you’re building a treehouse in your backyard for your kid, you might find yourself realizing that maybe your childhood treehouse wasn’t quite as safe as you thought it was when you were young. You’ll probably find yourself wanting to take precautions to make it as safe as possible so your children don’t get hurt.
And you’ll probably find yourself wondering if the presence of a treehouse is going to impact your homeowners insurance premiums. So, will it? Read on to find out everything you need to know about having a treehouse with homeowners insurance.
How is a treehouse classified?
On many homeowners insurance policies, a treehouse isn’t specifically listed. But it may appear as an “attractive nuisance.” An attractive nuisance is a toy or structure that kids are attracted to, but probably don’t understand the danger of. Trampolines and swimming pools are prime examples of an attractive nuisance. Treehouses aren’t always listed as attractive nuisances, but often are.
Will a treehouse raise homeowners insurance premiums?
Perhaps this is not an exciting answer, but it is the truthful one: sometimes. More often than not, a treehouse won’t raise your homeowners insurance premiums, because they’re simply not as dangerous as most other attractive nuisances.
But it all depends on where you live, and the insurance company issuing your policy. Many insurance companies will raise your premiums slightly to help compensate for the added risk that they are assuming. If someone who doesn’t live at your home is hurt on your treehouse, then that’s your responsibility, and therefore could fall onto the shoulders of your homeowners insurance policy.
Your premiums are unlikely to rise a large amount due to the presence of a treehouse, but they might rise a little bit.
How to minimize your rising premiums
If your insurance is going to be pricier because of your treehouse, there are some things that you can do to minimize how much your premiums will rise. Most of those things focus on increasing the safety and legality of the treehouse on your property.
For starters, a treehouse should always be legal. That means it can’t be close to power lines, and it can’t give occupants a view inside neighboring homes. If you have a treehouse that isn’t legal, you probably won’t even be able to get homeowners insurance.
After legality, you want to focus on having a safe treehouse. The treehouse should be very stable, and be well secured to a strong and sturdy tree. The lower to the ground, the safer, and the softer the surface beneath the treehouse, the better. The fewer dangerous elements (like risky rope swings) the better, even though that’s not always as fun.
This doesn’t mean you need to disassemble your treehouse and make it boring. But the safer it is, the better your chances at not having your premiums raised.
When in doubt, ask your insurance agent
The worst thing that you can do as a homeowner is add a potentially dangerous item without informing your insurance company. If you don’t disclose things that could raise your premiums or increase risk at your home, your insurance company could try to void your insurance when you file a claim.
So if you have a treehouse or are thinking of building a treehouse, simply reach out to your insurance agent to find out how it will impact your homeowners insurance rates.
Treehouses are a fun addition to any home, and they usually don’t have much of an impact on your homeowners insurance. Just make sure you’ve done your research before you start building.