A backyard pool can make your home the hot spot for summer fun! But it also brings added responsibility and liability risk to your home. As a pool owner, there are two important factors to consider when it comes to insurance coverage: pool damage coverage and liability coverage. If your pool is damaged by a covered peril, homeowners insurance may help pay for repairs. Secondly, homeowners insurance also includes liability coverage, which helps pay for expenses if a guest is injured at your pool.
POOL DAMAGE COVERAGE
Homeowners insurance typically helps pay to repair a pool if it's damaged by one of the risks covered by your policy. For instance, if a tree falls on your pool during a storm, your homeowners insurance will likely help pay for repairs, up to the limits indicated in your policy. However, keep in mind that homeowners policies exclude coverage for damage caused if water freezes in your pool, so be sure to empty your pool at the end of each season.
Coverage for your pool typically depends on what kind of pool you own. An above-ground pool is generally covered by the personal property coverage in a homeowners policy, while an in-ground pool is usually covered by other structures coverage.
Ask your agent to help determine whether you should consider increasing your coverage limits based on the value of your pool and any added accessories, such as a water slide or deck.
POOL LIABILITY COVERAGE
If you own a pool or are thinking of getting a pool, you'll also want to take your liability coverage into consideration. If a guest is injured at your pool, you could potentially incur medical or legal expenses that stem from the incident. Liability protection is a standard part of a typical homeowners policy, but because a pool can increase your liability risk, you may want to consider increasing your coverage. Keep in mind that you’re even responsible if someone sneaks in and uses your pool without your permission.
A homeowners policy typically provides $100,000 in base liability coverage. If you have a backyard pool, we recommend that you talk to your agent to determine if those limits should be increased.
DO I NEED EXTRA COVERAGE?
To add an extra layer of protection, you may want to consider purchasing a personal umbrella policy. An umbrella insurance policy provides liability coverage above the limits of your homeowners policy. Umbrella protection begins when you've exhausted the required underlying insurance amount of your homeowners policy.
If you have a pool or you're planning to install one, it's a good idea to let your insurer know. While pools are typically covered by homeowners insurance policies to some degree, you'll probably want to review your coverage to make sure you have the right amount of protection in place. Failing to do so could leave you, yourself, being responsible for claim costs in the case of a mishap.
Here are a few safety precautions to help prevent accidents or claims :
- Install a fence or wall with a self-closing, self-latching gate to prevent unauthorized use.
- Set up an alarm to alert you if any unsupervised people enter the area.
- Use a safety cover over your pool to prevent accidental falls into the pool.