Pools are fun, and they often add value to your home. But they also add risk. When installing a pool, you’ll need to take safety precautions, while ensuring your home insurance covers you.
Your Liability For A Pool
Your pool is what the law considers an attractive nuisance. That means it draws children and others towards your pool, even if you don’t want them there. Because of this, you can have liability for a drowning or other injury, even if the person who got hurt was trespassing. You may also have liability for situations such as a friend’s child falling in your pool while visiting.
You Need A Fence
To protect yourself against liability, your pool should be inaccessible to the outside world. That often means a fence and a locked gate surrounding your yard. It could also mean a fence only around the pool area or having the pool inside of a locked screen enclosure. For the safety of children and pets within your yard or screened patio, you may still wish to use a fence directly around the pool, even if you use other barriers.
Check your state and local laws — as well as any homeowner association bylaws— for any requirements on what type of barrier you need to use and how high it has to be. Your home insurance company may also have requirements or offer discounts for safety improvements.
Does Your Home Insurance Policy Give You Liability Protection?
Your home insurance policy will generally include liability protection that can cover you if you ever get sued because someone gets hurt in or around your pool. This will typically apply to both trespassers and invited guests.
Read your policy for details. Since pools add risk, having a pool will usually mean a higher insurance premium. If you’re installing a pool, you may need to notify your insurance company within a certain time frame to have coverage.
Does Your Home Insurance Policy Cover Damage To Your Pool?
Your home insurance policy may cover storm damage, fire damage, theft, or other damage to your pool and pump system. This may be under an “other structures” portion of your policy, which has a lower limit than your primary coverage. Some home insurance companies also distinguish between permanent and above-ground pools when deciding if they’re covered. Check your policy for details.