Are you picturing yourself diving into the cool, crystal-clear waters of a brand-new swimming pool? Deciding to put a pool in your backyard could end up being a great investment in the value of your home as well as increase the happiness level of your family. However, it may also increase the likelihood that something unexpected, and potentially damaging or injurious, could occur on your property. As you wade through all the backyard pool choices available to homeowners today, it would also be a good time to learn about the type of insurance coverages that are available to help safeguard swimming pool owners—and their bank accounts—if a pool-related claim arises.
What Types of Insurance Coverages Should You Have for Your Swimming Pool?
Certainly, it’s important to have insurance coverage that helps protect you against bodily injury claims and assists you in paying for related medical and legal bills if someone who is not a member of your household gets injured in or around your pool.
Also, since you are probably going to invest a significant amount of money into the installation and maintenance of your pool, it would be beneficial to have insurance coverage that may help you pay for repairs to your aboveground or inground pool and its parts if they are damaged or destroyed.
Depending on your insurance company and the type of pool you own, some of the critical insurance coverages you require may already be included in your standard homeowners policy. However, it’s essential that you reach out to a local insurance professional who can thoroughly review what your specific policy will and will not cover and potentially suggest some coverage adjustments if necessary.
For example, if your policy’s coverage limits are too low or the risk level for an injury is high, your agent could recommend the following:
- Raising the Personal Liability limits to the maximum allowed in your homeowners policy, which is typically $1 million.
- Investing in an Umbrella Insurance policy, which typically provides an extra layer of liability coverage if the Personal Liability coverage in your home insurance is exceeded.
- Increasing your Other Structures coverage to include the full value of your swimming pool so that you may be able to replace it if it is destroyed by a covered event.
- Adding a Home Systems Protection endorsement to your policy, which may help you cover the cost to repair or replace expensive pool parts, like a pool pump, that fail due to a sudden and accidental mechanical or electrical breakdown.
How Can You Reduce the Likelihood of a Swimming Pool Accident?
As your swimming pool dream becomes a reality, there are many safety measures you can implement that may help prevent a serious injury. In fact, many insurance companies will require that your pool meet certain safety criteria before they will issue you a policy. In addition, your town will probably require an inspection.
Depending on your state, you might need to:
- Install a fence and/or wall, at least 4 feet high, completely around your pool’s perimeter.
- Make sure gates are self-closing and have childproof locks.
- Place lights around the pool.
- Lock the ladder to an above-ground swimming pool or remove it altogether when it’s not in use.
- Install a pool entry alarm that indicates when motion is detected in the water.
In some cases, by employing these and other similar pool safety measures, you may earn credits from your insurance company that can help offset increases to your home insurance premium because you now have a pool.
Of course, there are many more preventive steps a homeowner can take if they want to keep their family, friends, and roaming children and animals safe around their pool. In addition to reviewing your home insurance policy for the appropriate swimming pool coverages, Fred C. Church’s risk management professionals may have additional safety practices to share that apply not only to your swimming pool but also to other appealing but higher-risk structures you may have around your property, like tree houses, trampolines, fishponds, or hot tubs.
Please contact us for more guidance on swimming pool insurance requirements as well as other home insurance questions. As your insurance broker, we want to do our best to help you select the right coverages to safeguard this investment so you can spend less time worrying about it and much more time enjoying it.