A backyard skating rink can really brighten up the dark winter months. With just a few supplies, including wood, a plastic tarp, and a garden hose, you can build your own itinerary and envy the neighborhood.
Of course, you have to be ready for the inevitable skating evenings with all the local kids. But you may also want to think about more than the entertainment value of the project – you can also consider the risks that the existence and maintenance of a backyard ice rink can pose.
WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF A PATHWAY OF ICE PATIO?
What happens if someone gets sick? What happens if a child hits a hockey puck through a window and damages the interior? The reality is that such scenarios can become a headache if you end up complaining. And although you can assume that your home insurance covers this, do you know that it really is?
WHAT SHOULD YOUR POLICY CHECK?
Before building your route, you may want to know if your liability insurance offers protection in the event of an accident. Check the exclusions in your policy or contact your agent to find out if your runway is covered.
You also need to browse your policy details to understand the coverage currently in effect. Do you know your limits of liability, for example? Liability insurance, which is part of a typical homeowner’s policy, protects you if someone is injured on your property or damages someone else’s property. However, coverage generally only reaches the limits set out in your policy.
You can speak to your agent to increase these limits (most policies start with a minimum of $100,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute). Or you may feel more comfortable with personal umbrella insurance, a separate policy that takes effect as soon as the liability limits of your underlying home insurance are exhausted.
WHAT TO REMEMBER BEFORE TAKING A TRACK?
Of course, insurance should not be your only “gut control” when installing a backyard path. You must contact local authorities to find out if the regulations apply. In some cities, there are restrictions on where you can place the route, how long it works, and how it is built and maintained.