Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and also a very popular time to open your backyard swimming pool. Before you dive in to beat the heat this season, it’s important to make sure you’re properly protected. As an agent, each year I raise this topic to educate my clients as well as the general public about the possible dangers associated with backyard swimming pools. If you just had a pool installed, or are purchasing a home with a pool, here are some questions to consider to make sure you have the right swimming pool coverage in place:
Does Your Insurance Cover Your Swimming Pool?
A swimming pool – either above-ground or in-ground, is eligible for coverage under your homeowners insurance because it is a “scheduled structure” or included under “other structures.” Because it is a structure detached from your house you’ll want to speak with your agent to be sure it’s covered or to specifically add coverage for the pool.
What Does Pool Insurance Cover?
The answer to this is two-fold: liability and physical damage. You’ll have liability coverage for injuries sustained because of the pool. Liability coverage helps cover bodily injury, medical expense and legal fees. Is the liability on your homeowners policy adequate? If you have a pool you should consider adding more liability coverage to your home for the added exposure of a swimming pool. Generally, homeowners with a swimming pool tend to entertain more often, which means more guests at your home. At FDIG we offer a higher limit of liability on a homeowners to those who have a swimming pool. According to poolsafely.gov, each year roughly 350 children under the age of 15 die from a pool or hot tub drowning.
The physical damage coverage provides the comfort of knowing you’ll have financial protection in place to replace or repair your pool if it were damaged due to weather events or vandalism. Just as you protect your home from a tree falling through the roof, you want to protect your pool in the event a heavy storm blows through the area wreaking havoc on your backyard. Make sure you understand your limits and check to see if your policy limits are high enough to ensure you have enough coverage on your homeowners policy to cover damage to the pool, and all of your other structures. Other structures coverage would pertain to a detached garage, shed, pool – anything unattached to your home.
Should You Get Umbrella Liability Coverage for Your Pool?
Plainly said, I would absolutely recommend an umbrella policy if you own a pool, mainly because pools can pose bigger-than-usual risks compared to other places around the house. Adding umbrella liability insurance provides liability coverage in addition to your homeowners policy limits for injuries that occur in or near the pool. The added benefit to an umbrella policy is that it’s not just for swimming pool accidents – it also adds liability protection above your home and auto policies.
At Ferri Dawson Insurance Group we offer umbrella policies for less than a dollar a day – a very small price to pay for the peace of mind that you and your family are properly protected.
Do Some Insurance Companies Consider a Swimming Pool an Unacceptable Insurance Risk?
Some insurance companies will cover swimming pools and the liability associated with them, but there are stipulations to the coverage. Almost all cities and towns require you to install a fence to enclose around the pool or the property where it is located. It is also common for home insurance companies to exclude pools with additional risks such as diving boards or slides – which generally present a higher risk for injuries or medical expenses.
It is vital for pool owners, or anyone caring for children, to know what they can do to help prevent drowning incidents. Keep children safer by following these water safety tips.
Lastly, bystanders are often first to aid a drowning victim, so learning CPR could save a life. CPR training is available through the American Red Cross.
To speak with an agent about your homeowners insurance or umbrella insurance, call Kate at 724-575-7237.