There’s a reason that neighborhoods and aquatic centers have so many rules for their pools. Although these fixtures can add a splash of summer fun to your backyard, pools can also add more risk to those who choose to take a private dip. While it’s true that you’ve invested in a proper home insurance plan to fight the many risks your house is exposed to, the question remains: Will your home insurance cover your pool? Let’s find out.
Will my home insurance cover my pool?
In most cases, your homeowners’ policy will cover a backyard pool. However, that doesn’t mean coverage won’t come with a few conditions.
More than likely, your agent will ask you to fence in your yard if you get a pool. The reason is that they don’t want random strangers deciding that they can take a dip in your pool whenever they want. (To be honest, you probably wouldn’t want that either.) Lessening the number of people that have access to your pool means lessening the amount of risk that your insurance company has to take on.
If you’re looking to add even more excitement, your home insurance may put a nix on it. Things like water slides and diving boards add more risk than necessary. And adding these fixtures in spite of a carrier ban may be grounds for the company to cancel or nonrenew your coverage altogether.
Overall, if you’re thinking of adding a pool to your backyard, you’ll need to talk to your insurance agent about the specifics of your coverage and how it may need to change.
What type of insurance do I need for a pool?
Your agent may want to talk about how a pool might affect two types of home insurance coverage.
The liability portion of your insurance will definitely have to increase. Including a pool on your property means taking on more risk of guests slipping, falling, and injuring themselves, as well as the risks of drowning and concussions. So, make sure your coverage and limits are enough to cover these situations.
You may also want to expand the limits and coverage of your property coverage. Pools can be an expensive addition to your backyard, which can mean expensive repair bills. So, make sure your coverage limits can handle property damage to your house AND your pool. Keep in mind, though, that things like cracks in an in-ground pool may be covered; however, tears in an above-ground pool or a broken water filter may not be covered because they could fall under regular maintenance issues.
You may even want to consider personal umbrella insurance to cover the added risks. Personal umbrella insurance can offer an added cushion of liability coverage for your everyday needs. So, it can especially be a lifesaver if you want to include a pool in your backyard oasis. It’s important to speak to your agent, though, to see if you should add a separate umbrella policy or if you just need to increase your limits.
How do I reduce the risks of having a pool?
If you’re thinking that this cool-off method will be too hot to handle, there are tons of ways that you can reduce poolside risks.
1. Keep the area secure
While you may be required to fence in your yard, it’s important to have the right type of fence and security measures to prevent random passersby from taking a dip.
- Make sure your fence is at least four feet tall and opaque. This can prevent people from jumping your fence or even seeing your pool in the first place.
- Have a fence gate that is self-closing and self-locking, as well as one that opens away from the pool.
- Make sure any locks or securing bolts are out of the reach of children.
- If you have an above-ground pool, take out the ladder and cover the top when it’s not in use.
- Inspect your fence regularly to make sure there aren’t any ways to climb over or sneak in under it.
- You might also install outdoor cameras to make sure no one is using your pool that isn’t supposed to.
2. Keep a set of strict pool rules.
There don’t have to be a lot of rules, just ones that you absolutely enforce to keep everyone safe. Some basics are: No running, no appendages in filters or grates, no diving, and no roughhousing. Make sure they’re posted clearly where everyone can see them at all times.
3. Supervise, supervise, supervise
An adult should supervise at all times. With older children and adults, a pool buddy may suffice. Just make sure that no one is in the pool alone, and that small children are never in the pool unless an adult is present. If you’re the one supervising, always stay alert and ready to spring into action. Accidents can happen fast.
4. Have the right knowledge.
It may sound like a no-brainer, but make sure that everyone knows how to swim. The best way to learn, especially for little kids, is to enroll them in swim classes with a qualified instructor. If you’re the one supervising the pool, it can also pay off to get CPR certified. You’ll have to renew the certification every year, but the life-saving knowledge is definitely worth the time investment.
5. Have the right equipment.
You may purchase some floaties and rafts for fun, but also make sure that you have safety floatation devices available as well. Grab some life jackets that are suitable for all ages and make sure that they’re easily accessible, just in case.
6. Don’t mess around with the weather.
Lighting storms and water never mix. If you hear thunder or see lightning while you’re swimming, get out immediately, dry everyone off, and head inside. If you just can’t wait to jump back in, wait at least thirty minutes after you hear the last bits of thunder before you head back out.
Overall, a pool can be a great way to give your family and friends easy access to summer fun. Just make sure you take the proper steps to secure and insure your pool, and it’ll provide endless entertainment for years to come. To get the right coverage for anything you add to your home and save money to boot, just call our home insurance specialists, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with us today!