Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 17, 2021

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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?

Wherever you live, lawsuits are at the center of countless lawsuits. From accidents at college parties to small children that accidentally fall into pools, pools are at the center of many serious accidents and deaths. Pool owners become directly responsible for medical bills, funeral costs, and other costs the families of victims may want to pursue. This ultimately leads to homeowners claims for an attractive nuisance. Homeowners insurance policies react by refusing coverage for pools altogether or charging significantly more to cover homes with pools.

What should you know about liability coverage for your pool?

As a homeowner, it’s important to recognize the increased liability associated with having such an oasis on your property. No matter the type of pool, an unattended child, intoxicated adult, and others can suffer serious accidents.

Fortunately, a homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the additional liability resulting from the ownership of a pool as long as it’s included in your homeowners policy.

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. If you don’t disclose this detail, it could be considered insurance fraud. More importantly, your liability coverage would not cover any accidents or related lawsuits, and your homeowners insurance premium could still spike after any incident. A single incident could run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

[How are homeowners insurance rates determined?]

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When would swimming pools be excluded from liability coverage?

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. This is meant to prevent small children or others from accidentally falling into a pool when no one else is looking.

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. They aren’t trying to get in the way of your family’s fun. These types of swimming pool equipment raise the likelihood of accidents leading to claims on your homeowners insurance.

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. You can get a special rider for your pool or look at other policy options if your current policy doesn’t cover the structure of the pool.

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.” If it’s a matter of normal wear and tear, this type of swimming pool equipment may not be covered. If you don’t replace it regularly and something goes wrong, it could be seen as a sign of neglect leading to future claim denials.

[What is covered by homeowners insurance?]

What should you do if building a new pool?

Many homeowners neglect to mention the addition of a pool while their current policy is active. They think they’ll just add it on renewal or when an insurer asks.

This isn’t how homeowners insurance works. 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. Even if you only recently built a pool, non-disclosure could lead to the cancellation or nonrenewal of your policy.

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.