Insurance Q&A: “Does homeowner’s insurance cover my pool?”
Having a pool is a dream for many homeowners. After all, a pool can turn the backyard into a sanctuary during the scorching summer months.
However, there are some things you must consider regarding your pool when it comes to homeowners insurance. Specifically, how does a homeowner’s insurance policy respond to potential bodily injury claims and how much coverage, if any, is afforded to fix your pool in the event it’s damaged?
Pool Liability Coverage
As a homeowner, it’s important to recognize the increased liability associated with having such an oasis on your property. You’d have live under a rock to not realize there are some inherent risks to owning a pool, especially when it comes to children…whether invited to swim in your pool or not!
Fortunately, a homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the additional liability resulting from the ownership of a pool.
Typically, when you fill out a homeowner’s insurance application with an agent or insurer, such information will be requested, and your policy will be adjusted accordingly.
Pool Liability Exclusions
Liability coverage for a pool may be excluded by your homeowner’s insurance policy if you do not have certain “controls” in place to make your pool safe. Specifically, many insurers will require you to have your pool (or yard) fenced. Many insurers even require a fence be at least a certain height, maybe 4 or 5 feet, and not constructed of chain-links.
Additionally, some insurers may deny coverage if your pool has a diving board or a slide. Both of which can make your pool much more fun, but certainly increase the statistical odds that someone may be injured while on your property.
Be sure to get this clarified as soon as possible. You certainly don’t want to be in a position where you have a liability claim and NO COVERAGE.
Is Damage to the Pool Covered?
Whether or not physical damage to your pool is covered will depend on your insurer. Some insurers will cover damage to your pool under “Coverage B – other structures,” while other insurers may not cover physical damage to your pool at all.
Some insurers look at an in-ground pool, made of cement, similar to how they look at foundation damage to your home…it’s your responsibility to ensure cracks in the cement are repaired when observed.
When it comes to pool maintenance equipment, such as filters and pumps, coverage is normally afforded by a homeowner’s insurance policy under “Coverage B – other structures.” This type of equipment is viewed similarly to that of an air conditioner compressor on the outside of your home.
Building a New Pool?
Many homeowners neglect to mention the addition of a pool while their current policy is active. But it is necessary to contact your insurance agent or insurer prior to having a pool built to ensure your new pool is adequately covered by your existing policy. Based on what we discussed above, you might have to find a new insurer.
Every insurance company has different underwriting guidelines, and your home may not qualify after the pool is installed.
Your insurance premium may be adjusted (higher) to compensate for the additional liability, or if you’re lucky, nothing may change at all.
Some questions you may be asked when shopping for insurance for your house with a pool:
– Is the pool above or below ground?
– Is your yard fenced in? This might be a requirement by ordinance in your town.
– Is your pool fenced in? Some companies may require the yard and pool be fenced in.
– Do you have a pool cover? There are hard plastic covers available for some pools now.
– Is your pool drained in the winter months?
– Do you have a diving board? Some companies allow for pools, but will not cover a diving board.
– Do you want to raise your liability limits? The risk of bodily injury and drowning death both increase with a pool?
Read more: How to lower home insurance premiums.