New Safety Legislation for Trampoline Parks Brings New Insurance Requirements

Bills Passed in New York State are Set to Take Effect in April 2020—Here’s How It Impacts Trampoline Park Operators

In 2004, Sky Zone opened the U.S.’s first trampoline park in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Since then, the popularity of these facilities has exploded, and today there are around 800 trampoline parks currently in operation across the United States.  Most of these are operated by a handful of major chains, including CircusTrix, Sky Zone, Urban Air, Launch, Altitude, Flight Fit N Fun and others.

They feature a range of different attractions, such as trampolines, rock walls, dodgeball, hoops and other games, and are a wildly popular family attraction that encourages healthy exercise and fun.

Under the Microscope

Recently, however, these parks have come under increased scrutiny with regard to safety processes and procedures.  According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, trampoline park injury-related emergency room visits rose from 581 in 2010 to 6,932 in 2014.

In response, many of these facilities have implemented enhanced safety policies and procedures, some partnering with third-party risk management firms to mitigate risk and reduce exposure.

New Regulatory Legislation Slated to Take Effect

In an effort to increase overall safety for these types of facilities, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law Senate Bill 6600/House Bill 7250 at the end of last year on December 20, 2019.  This set of bills establish a comprehensive set of safety requirements and procedures for trampoline parks.  These include specific definitions, requirements for state permits, industry standards compliance, employee training criteria, injury reporting, annual inspections and liability insurance requirements.

This new law is set to go into effect 120 days after the bill was signed into law, on April 18, 2020.

Specific requirements under the new law include:

  • A new permit for operation issued by the state, which must be renewed annually
  • The creation of a state-operated online registry of permitted parks and a record of safety violations
  • Specific requirements for safety warnings, signage, employee training (all must be certified in First Aid and CPR) and supervision standards
  • An annual safety inspection for each location
  • Mandatory EAP (Emergency Action Plan), which is a documented, operational emergency response plan.
  • Mandatory injury reporting/tracking system
  • Liability insurance of at least $500K per occurrence/$1M aggregate; owner must maintain a certificate of insurance reflecting these limits

A Proactive Approach to Risk Management 

So what can insurance brokers and operators take away from this New York State law?  Jason Scott, Director at Alive Risk says, “This is a part of a larger trend that we’re seeing, with other states implementing new requirements for trampoline parks that can have a definite impact on their operations.”
 
Scott adds, “Many times these new requirements involve additional procedures or costs to continue to operate as usual.  Consulting with a risk management expert to discuss any new or pending requirements in a particular state can save facility owners time and expense, helping avoid or minimize any operational impact to your locations.”

Alive Risk can help give direction and address the risk management aspects of these new N.Y. safety and insurance requirements, as well as those in other states.  If you have any questions, please contact Rodney Gerbers, Director of Amusement at Alive Risk at rgerbers@aliverisk.com

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Alive Risk, a division of All Risks, Ltd., delivers an Amusement Insurance Program for a wide variety of risk classifications.  Your needs are unique, which is why Alive Risk works with retail agents nationwide to deliver amusement insurance for Family Entertainment Centers, Amusement Parks, Trampoline Parks, Waterparks, Zip Lines, Zoos, Go Karts and Aquariums.  We’re recognized as a leading underwriting facility in the industry and our underwriters have true industry knowledge.

 Our Amusement Insurance Program coverage ranges from General Liability, Excess, Liquor, Hired & Non-Owned Auto, Accident Medical/AD&D, Inland Marine, including both Owned and Rented Equipment.  Contact us today to work with an underwriter with true industry knowledge.

Legal Disclaimer: Views expressed here do not constitute legal advice. The information contained herein is for general guidance of matter only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Discussion of insurance policy language is descriptive only. Every policy has different policy language. Coverage afforded under any insurance policy issued is subject to individual policy terms and conditions. Please refer to your policy for the actual language.