Thinking of buying a pool? Here’s what you should know:
So you’re thinking of buying a pool and imagining those lazy, hot summer days when you’ll get to slip into the cool water, sunbathe, play with the kids, and invite friends and neighbors to share in your good fortune. But there’s more to owning a pool than just the fun stuff. Make sure that it’s truly something you want and are willing to put in the work to maintain. Here are a few things to consider before you “dive in” -no pun intended.
How Insurance Companies Categorize Pools:
According to the Insurance Information Institute, a pool is what’s known as an “attractive nuisance,” meaning that it’s likely to draw people to your property, and at the same time can potentially create a dangerous situation. You can be held liable for any accident or injury that happens in or near your pool, even if the person injured used your pool without consent, and your homeowner insurance would likely cover that liability. Still interested? Here’s what else you need to know.
Pools and Homeowners Insurance:
When it comes to insuring a pool, you have two things to consider: damage to the pool itself and liability considerations.
Damage to the pool: Whether damage to your pool would be covered by your homeowner’s insurance depends on whether it will be an in-ground or above-ground structure, and how it is subsequently classified by your insurance policy (as part of the home versus an external structure). Contact your insurance agent to find out whether your new pool would be automatically covered or would require an additional policy. Don’t forget to ask about additional equipment, like pumps and filters, and whether or not or how they can be covered.
Liability issues: When it comes to home pools and insurance, liability concerns can be more significant than protecting the pool itself. Even though your homeowner’s insurance will probably include liability coverage for pool-related accidents and injuries, experts recommend that pool owners increase their liability limit up to $500,000; or purchase a separate umbrella policy to cover any excessive liability costs. This is because costs associated with a serious injury or an accident are likely to exceed lower coverage limits. You can also increase your liability insurance protection further with an excess liability policy, sometimes called an umbrella insurance policy. These policies come with liability limits of $1 million, $2 million or more and are surprisingly inexpensive considering the high coverage limits that come along with them.
Safety and other considerations:
Before you install a pool on your property, be sure to check your city laws to find out what is required of pool owners. Most cities have requirements regarding fencing, pool covers, signage, diving boards, supervision, and other safety concerns. Not only does following these guidelines make your new pool safer; your insurance company may exclude your pool from coverage if you fail to comply with local rules.
For any home insurance questions, call or contact Johnson & Pohlmann Insurance today.