It is a pretty exciting experience to have a pool installed in your backyard. It can be the center of fun for your friends and family, especially when summer comes. However, not every homeowner knows how a swimming pool can affect their home insurance policy. It brings liability risk, increased responsibility, and potential damage to your backyard and your home. Before deciding to build a pool in your backyard, make sure to contact your insurance company first. It is essential to know the proper insurance coverage needed for the risks that accompany your pool. Is your existing home insurance policy enough to cover it?
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Does home insurance cover pool damages?
Yes, your home insurance can cover pool damages; however, it can only be covered if it’s damaged by one of the risks included in your home insurance policy. Covered risks include hail, vandalism, fire, explosion, vehicle collision, and lightning strikes. For instance, hailstorm happened and damaged your pool, your home insurance company will pay for the repairs — depending on your coverage amount, deductible, and type of coverage you have.
If you have an in-ground pool, it will be covered as a detached structure, like a gazebo, shed, or a garage. It can also be considered as a part of your dwelling, just like coverage for a roof. If it’s an above-ground pool, it will be covered under personal property in your home insurance policy since it is portable and can be removed or stored after use. If the damages were caused by wear and tear, earthquake, neglect, water damage, and freezing, it will not be covered by your home insurance.
The liability coverage of your home insurance policy can also provide coverage when accidents happen in your pool. For instance, someone slipped on the deck of the pool and got injured, liability will cover some medical expenses.
If you have an indoor pool, your liability may be reduced since you can prevent trespassers from accessing your swimming pool and avoid injuries. However, many insurance companies refuse to cover an indoor swimming pool because it is close to power lines, which is not allowed by some local municipality laws. Flood and water damage can also increase if your pool is installed inside your home. Ask your insurance agent if they’re covering indoor pools before installing one.
Purchasing a personal umbrella policy should also be considered so that you can have an extra layer of protection for your pool. If an accident happens and a person became seriously injured after the incident, medical expenses and a court case can wipe your money out if you don’t have umbrella policy added in your home insurance. An umbrella policy is a coverage that provides extra liability once your home insurance policy limit exceeds. It covers medical bills and lawsuits in cases where someone got injured in your home.
Having a Pool will increase your home insurance premium
A swimming pool is a liability magnet and insurance companies consider it as a big risk in your home. That is why your home insurance premium will increase if you install a swimming pool in your home. Since it opens up the possibility of a guest to have a swimming-related injury, your liability coverage will increase. Home insurance policies can include up to $100,000 in liability insurance, but if you have a pool, insurance companies wi recommend you to increase your home insurance liability coverage to $500,000. Since swimming pools inherently cause more potential for injury, adding additional liability insurance like umbrella policy can be beneficial. Your dwelling coverage will increase as well, resulting in higher home insurance premiums.
Ways to reduce liability
Insurance companies give some requirements to homeowners that have swimming pools installed on their home so that the liability will be reduced and your home insurance policy will get approved. Here are two of these requirements:
- No diving boards and slides. If you have a diving board or a slide installed in your swimming pool, home insurance companies will automatically cancel your policy or won’t provide you with homeowners insurance because it poses a great risk and the liability is too great. Some companies may provide insurance for you; however, they will exclude coverage for any bodily injury related to the diving board or slide.
- Install a fence around the pool. In-ground pools should have a fence around it as required by home insurance companies. They will also be the one to give the size, material, and height of the fence that you should install in your pool. The common height they require is 48”, although some require a 6-foot tall pool fence for homeowners. Self-latching and self-closing gates are also required. If you don’t have a fence, home insurance companies will not provide you a policy as well.
To reduce more risks, it’s important to consider the ways on how to keep your pool safe to use. Prevent any accidents by applying safety measures, especially if there are kids in your home. Installing gate and pool alarms, taking your kids to swimming lessons, learning CPR, and putting safety pool covers are just some of the preventive measures that you should do to make sure that you, your family, and your guests are safe from any pool-related injuries.