Insurance and Backyard Pools: What You Need to Know
Backyard pools are a great addition to any home as they provide relaxation, fun and visual appeal. However, they do carry significant liability that every homeowner should be aware of in order to best protect pool users.
Types of Insurance
Generally, backyard pools are either covered under your existing home insurance policy, or require a separate, pool-specific coverage plan. Deciding which option to go with depends on your current policy, your pool, the surrounding environment, and other risk factors. Below, is a brief outline of each option:
Home Insurance Policy Coverage: Using your existing homeowners’ insurance policy, you’ll generally want to increase your liability coverage limits and property damage limits to ensure you’re covered.
Pool-Specific Coverage Plan: Companies will offer an “umbrella liability policy” as a supplement to your homeowners’ insurance that covers a wide variety of different situations, which might not normally be covered.
What Insurance Covers
Insurance policies, whether it’s an extension of homeowner’s insurance or separate swimming pool liability coverage, often address the follow situations:
Slips and Falls: The area around your swimming pool can pose a potential threat for injury, especially when the ground is excessively wet or individuals are not exercising caution. Homeowners are expected to take reasonable measures to ensure that slip and fall hazards are removed in a timely fashion.
Attractive Nuisance/Trespassing: The concept “attractive nuisance” is a legal term that refers to a situation where a homeowner is held responsible because their property has objects or elements that attract young children. Even if a young trespasser takes considerable measures to enter your protected property (such as climbing a fence or breaking in), the homeowner can still be held liable.
Recreational Injury: If your pool has a diving board, slide, or other form of recreational equipment, there is a heightened potential for injury. It’s important to check your insurance policy to see if this situation is covered, as many companies will count these injuries as exclusions from normal coverage.
Above-Ground Pool Rupture: Above-ground pools often have the same liabilities as in-ground pools, but also include the structural risk of rupture. Insurance can cover water damage that results from a pool that breaks open and floods the surrounding area.
Pool Damage: Often times pools are considered an “other structure” underneath your homeowner’s insurance, and any damage to the pool is viewed in a similar fashion as the house itself.
Making sure you are adequately covered as well as employing the necessary steps to protect your pool and its users are important responsibilities for every pool owner. How can you better keep your pool, family and neighbors safe? A pool cover can be a great way to prevent accidents – check out LinerWorld’s selection of pool covers on our website to get started.