Many homeowners dream of having a pool on their property. A pool can transform a backyard into a sanctuary, providing welcome relief from the sweltering heat of the summer months.
There are things you need to think about regarding your pool and your homeowner’s insurance. To be specific, how does your homeowner’s insurance policy treat potential physical injury claims and how much insurance coverage is provided to repair your pool in case it gets damaged?
Liability insurance Coverage
Being a homeowner, it is crucial to understand the added liability that comes with owning a pool. It goes without saying that there are inherent dangers that a pool poses to kids, whether they are swimming under supervision or not.
Luckily, your homeowner’s insurance will provide coverage for the added liability arising from owning a pool.
Generally, your insurer or agent will request for such information when you are filling your home insurance policy application forms. If you have a pool, the appropriate adjustments will be made on the policy.
Liability coverage exclusions for your swimming pool
Your homeowner’s insurance policy may have pool liability exclusions if you do not have the controls that are needed to ensure that your pool is safe. A lot of insurers will specifically require that your pool or yard is fenced. Many insurers will even stipulate that the fence be a specific height, for instance, 4 or 5 feet, and chain links must not be used to construct the fence.
In addition, certain insurers could deny coverage if you add a slide or diving board to your pool. This is because while these items may add a fun element, they increase the probability of people getting injured while on your property.
Make sure that you get clarification on this as soon as you can. Obviously, you do not want to have a situation where there is a liability claim and you are not covered.
Does the policy cover physical damage to the pool?
Coverage for physical damage to the pool depends on the insurance company. There are insurers who will provide coverage under the other structures’ section of your home insurance policy while other companies might not provide any coverage against physical damage to your pool.
Some insurance companies treat damage to an in-ground cemented pool in the same way they treat damage to the foundation of your house. You are responsible for making sure that any cracks on the cement are promptly repaired once they are noticed.
Regarding pool maintenance equipment like pumps and filters, a homeowner’s insurance policy usually provides coverage under the other structures’ section. Such equipment is viewed in the same way as the air conditioner compressor on the outside of your house.
Are you constructing a new pool?
A lot of homeowners forget to mention that they have added a pool when their policy is still active. It is imperative that you talk to your insurer or insurance agent before constructing a pool to make sure that your new pool is sufficiently covered by your current policy. Depending on what was discussed above, you may have to look for a new insurer.
Each insurer has different underwriting policies, and your property might not be eligible for coverage after you install a pool.
Your insurance premium might be adjusted upwards to compensate for the added liability. But you may be fortunate, and the premium amount stays the same.
There are several questions that you might be asked as you shop around for insurance for your home with a pool:
- Is your pool below or above ground?
- Does your yard have a fence? This might be required by the local authorities in your area.
- Does your pool have a fence around it? Some insurers may demand that your pool and yard be fenced in.
- Is your pool covered? Hard plastic covers are now available for some type of pools
- Do you drain your pool during winter?
- Have you installed a diving board? Some insurers do not provide coverage for diving boards.
- Do you plan to increase your liability limits? A pool increases the risk of physical injury and death by drowning.