Summertime is the season when people consider having pools installed in their homes. It’s an investment that starts out as an emotional one and begins with a thought such as… How nice it will be in the summer to lay in my pool and relax. They will envision summertime barbeques with family and friends. A simple beach towel, a cup of tea, and within a few steps a person will find themself basking in the sun with not a care in the world.
Then there’s the financial investment that requires how the pool will be installed. Besides the costs of the pool, insurance coverage must also be fully considered, because there’s no such thing as a no-one-will-ever-get-hurt, free zone. Whether the pool will be inground or above ground, if a person does not have the proper insurance coverage, they may find themselves in a financial burden that may spiral them down the drain.
We don’t want that to happen to you, therefore if you’re a pool owner or are considering becoming one here are some general FAQs in insuring your swimming pool.
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 homeowner’s 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 homeowner’s 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.
How About Visitor Injuries, Would My Homeowner’s Cover it?
Homeowner’s 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 homeowner’s insurance premium.
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 homeowner’s 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 piece of mind that will allow you to enjoy your pool, knowing that if anything should occur… you’re covered!