As a homeowner, having a swimming pool can be enjoyable and relaxing. But it’s important to remember that pools also pose potential risks and liabilities for you and your guests. Make certain you clearly understand your insurance coverage for accidents and take necessary precautions to reduce any concerns.
The risks associated with swimming pools
Though a part of classic summertime activities, swimming pools can pose various dangers, including:
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- Drowning, which is a leading cause of accidental death for children
- Chemical and germ-related hazards
- Slip and fall accidents near the pool
- Diving accidents causing injuries
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Homeowners insurance and swimming pool coverage
Swimming pools can be covered in a variety of ways under homeowners insurance policies. Some property insurers simply won’t insure a home that has a pool, so be sure to research insurance providers if your current policy does not meet the need.
Look for protection from damage to the pool, liability coverage as a pool owner and listing the pool on the policy to ensure proper coverage. This can help to protect you in case of an accident and may include medical payments for injuries.
Coverage for damage to the pool itself
Your swimming pool might be covered by homeowners insurance for the damage caused by perils specified in your policy, such as lightning strikes, fire, explosions, hail and vandalism.
If a large hailstorm damages the swimming pool’s liner or other parts of it, the insurance policy for your home may cover the cost of repairing the damage, minus your deductible and up to your policy’s coverage limits.
Coverage for liability as a pool owner
If you own a pool, you may be accountable for any accidents or fatalities in or near it.
Your homeowners insurance might offer liability coverage for pool-related mishaps, subject to the circumstances of the accident, the regulations governing residential pools in your area and your policy’s specific terms.
The need to list the pool on your policy for proper coverage
To verify that your swimming pool is adequately covered by your homeowners insurance policy, inform your insurance provider about the pool and include it in your coverage.
Failing to do so may result in your insurer not covering a claim related to the pool.
Factors affecting swimming pool insurance coverage
Several factors can impact your swimming pool coverage, such as:
- The type of pool (above-ground or in-ground): This will determine whether the coverage falls under personal property or other structures coverage.
- Safety features and requirements (adequate fencing, self-latching and lockable gates, ample lighting, secure diving boards and slides if present): Some insurance providers will require these features in order to have coverage.
- Local laws and regulations on residential swimming pools: Like most things in homeownership, you’ll likely need a permit depending on the type of pool you have.
If you plan to install or have recently installed a pool, inform your insurer so they can adjust your coverage accordingly.
Assessing your insurance coverage
To affirm adequate coverage for potential pool-related accidents, consider reviewing your current homeowners insurance policy.
Determine if your coverage limits are sufficient and consider additional liability coverage or umbrella policies for added protection.
What is an umbrella policy, and how does it relate to swimming pool liability coverage?
An umbrella policy is an extra personal liability insurance policy that offers more coverage than standard insurance policies (like homeowners, auto or watercraft insurance).
The goal is to safeguard your current and future assets from situations where the liability coverage of your primary policies isn’t enough or if you encounter claims that those policies cannot cover.
Having a swimming pool on your property is an important reason to have proper liability coverage. An umbrella policy can provide additional protection beyond what your homeowners insurance already covers. This is especially important because pools can increase your liability risks.
If someone is injured in your pool and the expenses related to the incident exceed your homeowners insurance limit, the umbrella policy can help cover the remaining costs.
Tips to reduce swimming pool hazards and liability
Proactive steps to minimize risks and liability associated with pool ownership can include:
- Implementing safety measures (effective fencing with self-latching and lockable gates, alarms, pool covers, lights)
- Regular maintenance and inspection of the pool and surrounding area
- Educating family members and guests on pool safety rules
- Supervising children and inexperienced swimmers at all times
Does every pool owner require insurance coverage?
Depending on your location, some pool owners may not legally need insurance coverage specifically for their pool.
Whether or not there is a legal requirement can be affected by various factors, including safety measures, local laws and the presence of children.
Even if you’re not legally required to insure your pool, however, adequate insurance is highly recommended.
It’s important to review your existing homeowner’s insurance policy to decide if it offers sufficient coverage for accidents related to your pool.
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We want you to protect your dream home and make many happy memories with your family around the pool.
All the same, understanding and maintaining proper insurance coverage for swimming pool accidents is a crucial part of homeownership. Taking proactive steps to reduce risks and liability can ensure a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone.
We want to make sure you have the best homebuying experience, and having adequate insurance for your property is a crucial part of the process.