We all look forward to the summer months to spend time relaxing with friends, take a break from school schedules, and enjoy the beautiful weather. If you’re one of the many homeowners with a pool, you likely look forward to the season even more. Pool parties, barbeques, and other gatherings bring us together and make great summer memories.
However, whenever you have people enjoying your backyard pool, you also have certain risks that go along with it. The most serious of those risks are injuries, but there is also the risk of property damage and other issues that may require expensive out-of-pocket costs.
Before opening your pool with the season or installing a pool on your property, you should look at your existing homeowner’s insurance policy and determine if your current coverage is sufficient to cover any unexpected incidents associated with using your pool.
Your home insurance policy should already cover certain incidents related to pools. For example, if your pool suffers damage from a tree that falls on it during a storm, your insurance policy will cover the damages. The same holds true if someone visiting your house slips and falls on your pool deck. The liability portion of your policy would cover that incident. The key is ensuring you have enough coverage, especially liability coverage.
Pools are expensive to repair, so you want to ensure that your liability coverage is enough to repair or even replace the pool, if necessary. If it’s not, now makes an excellent time to contact your agent and discuss what specific coverage you might need to have adequate protection for the season.
Insurance companies consider your pool a “liability risk,” meaning that you will definitely have higher premiums on your homeowner’s insurance and may need more liability coverage.
The Insurance Information Institute urges homeowners with a pool to consider the insurance implications that go along with it. They even go so far as to suggest that homeowners should have at least $300,000 to $500,000 of liability insurance in some cases. Considering an additional umbrella policy also makes a good idea as it will provide you with even more financial protection.
Finally, before making any changes, ensure you understand how your insurance company categorizes your specific pool on your policy. Often, companies will categorize above-ground pools as “personal property” on your policy and inground pools as “other structures,” similar to a detached garage or a shed. The category your pool falls into may determine how much higher your premiums will cost and the specific things your policy covers.
So although having a pool adds aesthetic appeal, value, and fun to your home, you do not want to get caught with insufficient coverage if the unexpected should occur. Having the right insurance policy will protect you and your finances while at the same time reassuring your guests that you make their safety a priority.
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