A backyard pool is certainly a welcome addition to any home. Not only does it offer a way for family and friends to cool off on hot summer days, it also adds value to the selling price of your home. With all the positive aspects of having a backyard pool, one factor that must be considered is does your homeowners insurance protect you for damages or liability that are associated with owning a swimming pool?
Is a Swimming Pool Covered in Your Home Insurance Policy?
Home insurance policies vary as far as what is and isn’t covered. In most cases a swimming pool is covered by a home insurance policy. It probably won’t be damaged by a fire, windstorm, or some of the other basic perils covered by a home insurance policy. Damage from lightning, vandalism, or faulty pipes are commonly covered. The two greatest concerns for homeowners who have pools are cracks in the foundation and liability coverage. Their policy typically won’t cover the cracks, but the existing liability coverage should cover medical costs for people injured as a result of swimming or diving in the pool.
Check your policy and look to see if structures like pools are covered. If pool coverage is listed as exclusion, it means you’ll need to contact your insurance agent and ask for a policy that covers swimming pools and other structures. If your policy allows you to add coverage for a pool, your home insurance rate may increase. Keep in mind, the increase is well worth it if the pool is damaged or someone is injured while in or near it.
Do You Have Enough Coverage?
Most standard homeowner’s insurance that covers pools will figure in about 10 -20% for ‘structures’ other than your home like a garage, gazebo or pool. You must decide if that is adequate coverage if the pool is damaged. Home insurance covers liability in case someone is injured or drowns in your pool. This is a great risk, and if a diving board or slide is attached to the pool, many home insurance companies won’t even offer coverage. If they do, you can expect your home insurance premium rate to rise substantially. To add or increase liability coverage, you can either ask for more liability coverage from your home insurance agent, or you can ask for a liability policy that is separate from your homeowner’s insurance and typically called an umbrella. An umbrella liability policy generally covers claims for up to one million dollars.
Insuring a home is essential, and rates are on the rise. If you are considering or already have a backyard pool, insurance is a must. Be aware of the risks and costs involved, and if you feel that your current policy is unreasonably high, do some research to see if you can find a company that offers more reasonable rates. Many websites will offer home insurance quotes from several companies, giving you a variety of premiums to choose from. There’s nothing like a dip in the pool on a hot summer day, as long as you have peace of mind knowing all your insurance and safety needs are secure.