Thinking of installing a swimming pool in your own backyard? Or perhaps you are purchasing a home that comes with a swimming pool. Having your own private swimming pool can be fun for the whole family and friends, especially during the hot summer days. Yet, swimming pools can also come with higher liability risks for homeowners due to the dangers of drowning, accidents, and deaths. According to the CDC, in the United States alone, more children ages 1-4 die from drowning and drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury of death amongst children ages 1-14.
What insurance coverages do I have with a swimming pool?
To begin with, some insurance companies will not insure your property if you have a swimming pool on it. While others may insure your home with a swimming pool only if it is fenced and comes with other additional safety barriers installed. Therefore, before buying or installing a swimming pool or purchasing a home with a swimming pool, talk to your independent agent to understand what your homeowners’ policy will cover and not cover.
If your insurance company does provide coverage for your property with a swimming pool on it, it is important to discuss with your independent agent about having adequate liability coverage. If a person gets injured while using your swimming pool and sues you, to protect you and your family, make sure you have enough liability coverage to pay for the injured person’s medical expenses, court fees, etc.
Due to homeowners faced with higher liability risks with owning swimming pools, many insurance companies may recommend or require increasing liability coverage on a homeowners’ policy. In addition, having an Umbrella policy will help with providing additional liability protection above what is covered on the homeowner’s policy.
Will homeowner’s insurance pay for swimming pool repairs?
That depends! Insurance companies are all different and not every homeowner’s policy is the same across all companies. If the pool was damaged to a named risk on your homeowners’ policy, it may be covered. Furthermore, for some insurance companies, coverage will depend on what type of pool you have, whether it is an in-ground pool, or an above ground pool. Also, whether the coverage for the swimming pool will be under your “personal property coverage limit” or “other structures coverage limit” all depends on your homeowners’ policy. Reach out to your independent agent and find out if your policy will cover swimming pool repairs.
**If you have a diving board or slide, be sure to have the proper depth of water underneath: Talk to your independent agent about carrier requirements for water depths. Not all carriers are acceptable of diving boards and/or slides to be sure to discuss with your independent agent.
Swimming Pool Safety Precautions
- Know your local “Pool Laws”: Each municipality has their own local standards and relevant safety and building codes to which you must adhere to. For example, installing a certain size fence, locks, decks, and pool safety equipment.
- Create a barrier: To eliminate unsupervised entrance to the swimming or spa area, install a fence with self-closing gates or other barrier on all sides of the pool. If the house forms part of the barrier to the pool, install alarms on doors leading to the pool area to prevent children from wandering into the pool or spa unsupervised. In addition to the fences or other barriers required by many towns, consider creating several “layers of protection” such as locks, alarms, locks, and safety covers to secure the pool and pool area when not in use.
- Create and post a list of safety rules: Make sure to strictly enforce safety rules with family and guests or anyone who is using your swimming pool.
- Post emergency phone numbers on the home phone nearest the pool: In the event of an accident, keep a copy of emergency phone numbers, first aid kits, ring buoys and reaching poles near the pool.
- Know how to shut off filters and other devices: Clearly post steps to shut off this information so others can do so in case of an emergency.
- Learn basic water rescue skills: Adults and family members should learn basic water rescue skills including first aid and CPR training.
- Get your children swimming lessons as early as possible: Having a backyard pool makes this a vital and important safety skill.
To learn more about how swimming pools affect your homeowners’ insurance and to get more swimming pool safety tips visit: https://www.iii.org/article/pool-safety-and-insurance