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Swimming Pools and Homeowners Insurance 2024 FAQ

14 June 2024
Kids on Swimming Pool - Banner Image for Swimming Pools and Homeowners Insurance FAQs Blog

Is my Swimming Pool Covered Under my Homeowners Insurance?

In general, it is. The coverage information can be found under the “other structures” section of your homeowners policy. This section also covers detached structures such as driveways, fences, and detached garages.

However, you would need to understand further what your homeowners insurance coverage “actually” insures because there might be provisions in your policy that will be affected by a pool. One coverage to be mindful of is what is the coverage of the value of the actual, physical pool.

  • An in-ground pool is considered as an additional structure, and this is included in the “covered structures” portion of your homeowners policy. You would need to check the detail of your coverage as “covered sections” because they generally have a limit. You would want to make sure that your pool’s value is covered from damages that are not caused by neglect and damages due to normal use.
  • Above ground pools are generally not considered as an additional structure because they can be removed from the property at will. This means that above ground pools are not going to be included in the “covered structures” section of your homeowners policy and you may need to obtain additional insurance to cover damages that might occur.

Because of the added liability of adding a swimming pool to your property, insurers may require additional safety measures including things like fencing, gates, and covers for extra protection.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Pool Leaks?

If the leak is not caused by a covered peril (storms, fires), your policy will not cover the damage. This is because home insurance, in general, does not pay for damages that results from wear and tear or even the lack of proper maintenance..Let´s go over a few guidelines for California.

  1. Coverage for Pool Damage:
    • If your pool is damaged by a covered peril, it will likely be covered under your homeowners insurance policy.
    • Covered perils include events like firewindstormhaillightning, and vandalism.
    • For instance, if a tree falls during a windstorm and damages your pool, your home insurance would likely cover the repairs.
    • However, damage caused by earthquakes is not covered by a standard homeowners policy.
    • Poor maintenance or wear and tear of your pool is also not covered.
  2. Liability Coverage for Pool Owners:
    • Besides property damage, your homeowners insurance provides liability protection for incidents on your property.
    • For pool owners, having sufficient liability coverage is crucial due to the additional risk.
    • Insurers often recommend liability coverage limits of at least $300,000 to $500,000 or more.
    • Consider an umbrella policy to protect your assets if you’re deemed responsible for damages exceeding primary policy limits.
    • Umbrella coverage can also extend liability protection beyond auto and boat policies.
  3. In-Ground vs. Above-Ground Pools:
    • In-ground pools are typically covered as part of your dwelling or other structures coverage.
    • Above-ground pools may be categorized as personal property or other structures.
    • Consult your insurance agent to ensure property limits cover repairs or replacement for above-ground pools.

Remember to take precautions to keep your pool area safe and follow state and local laws for pool ownership and safety

How About Visitor Injuries, Would My Homeowner’s Cover it?

Homeowners insurance usually offers personal liability coverage for visitor injuries that can happen in and around your pool. Take note that pools increase the possibility of injuries happening in your property and it’s wise to check your coverage limits. If in doubt, and probably thinking of having more protection, you may want to consider purchasing an umbrella policy. This policy can supplement your liability coverage limits without considerably increase your homeowners insurance premium.

Do you have to tell insurance about a pool? What Factors Might Affect My Pool Insurance Coverage Eligibility?

There may be specific requirements that an insurance company would need to qualify your coverages. For example, if you do not have a fence that secures your pool from the public and unsupervised use, an insurer might deny your application. This is because, without a fence, even if a homeowner is not home and there is a pool accident, such as the neighborhood kids getting into the pool and getting hurt, the homeowner can still be found liable. Especially if the swimming pool was not secured from the public and unsupervised use.

If you have a slide or a diving board, some insurance companies will not grant you coverage or might require you to sign an exclusion that will not cover any injuries that occur related to these pool accessories.

Would Home Insurance Cover Me if Someone Gets Hurt in My Swimming Pool?

When it comes to pool-related incidents, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • You and your household members are not covered by Liability Coverage.

Unfortunately, if you or any family members suffers an injury in or around the swimming pool, you would need to rely on your health insurance or your personal finances to cover the medical expenses.

  • You may be held liable for injuries even if “Guests” did not have your permission to swim.

Pools are generally considered as “Attractive Nuisances”. Meaning, if a neighbor wanders into your property and gets hurt, you can be found at fault. Even if the neighbor was not invited, and in some cases, even if the required fences are at place.

Are There Any Specific State or Local Swimming Pool Requirements?

In California, swimming pools that are built after 2007 require two drowning prevention or safety measures. These can be pool alarms and/or door alarms, or a mesh pool fence for summer and a mesh safety cover for winter. Permanent enclosures, like planters, decorative and retaining walls are classified as effective barriers and needs to be compliant checked with inspectors.

For further details, you can visit the California Legislative Information website for specifics.

With a pool on your property, your risk level will rise dramatically. It is recommended that you may consider purchasing an umbrella insurance, which will increase your liability protection but without a dramatic increase in your home insurance premium.

If you are moving forward with your plan of building a pool in your backyard, it is best to talk with your insurance agent and your preferred pool builder on the best approach for your plan. Your insurance agent will be able to explain your current homeowners policy and can suggest the appropriate adjustments. Your pool builder will be able to give you insights on safety measures such as which pool covers to use, fences, gates to use into your swimming pool, etc. And, with having talked to both experts, this will give you the peace of mind that will allow you to enjoy your pool, knowing that if anything should occur… you’re covered!

TLDR:

Homeowners insurance may cover your swimming pool in California, but it depends on the type of pool, the cause of damage, and the amount of coverage you have. Some of the points to consider are:

– Your homeowner’s insurance may cover your swimming pool under dwelling, personal property, or other structures coverage, depending on whether your pool is in-ground or above-ground, and whether it is portable or permanent.

– Your homeowners insurance may cover your swimming pool against damage caused by covered perils, such as fire, lightning, hail, vandalism, or explosion. However, it may not cover damage caused by wear and tear, lack of maintenance, failure to winterize, or flooding.

– Your homeowners insurance may have a limit on how much it will pay for your swimming pool damage. You may need to increase your coverage or add a separate policy if your pool is expensive or has special features.

– Your homeowners insurance may require you to inform your insurer if you install a new pool or make changes to your existing pool. You may also need to follow certain safety measures, such as fencing, lighting, locking, or signage, to reduce your liability risk.

– Your homeowners insurance may cover your liability if someone is injured or killed in your swimming pool, whether they are invited guests or trespassers. However, you may need to increase your liability coverage or add an umbrella policy if you have a pool, as the legal costs and compensation claims can be very high.

These are some of the general aspects of how homeowners insurance may cover your swimming pool in California. However, the exact coverage and requirements may vary by insurer and policy. You should check with your insurer what they consider as a swimming pool and what they can offer you in terms of cover and price.

Corey Elsasser - Inszone Insurance Personal Sales Team Manager

Corey Elsasser

Personal Sales Team Manager

Corey Elsasser is a Personal Sales Team Manager at Inszone Insurance Services. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Cal State University, Fullerton. Corey joined the Inszone team in 2019 after being drawn to the insurance industry as a result of his extensive experience in customer service.

He uses his Communications degree on a daily basis to develop strong working relationships with those in need of personal insurance. His extensive background in organized sports has created an incredibly strong work ethic, which allows him to deliver the highest level of customer service.

In his time off, Corey enjoys snowboarding, the beach, and spending time with family.

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