“Honey, I think we should get started on putting in the pool this year.”
“I know; it would be so much fun this summer, great for the kids, parties with the neighbors and relaxing at the end of a busy day. But I don’t want to have to get a special pool insurance policy and have to pay higher premiums.”
“What are you talking about? There’s no such thing as Pool Insurance!”
Understanding “Pool Insurance”
Swimming pools can be a great addition to a family and can elevate the value of the home itself, but there is no doubt that pools are an increased liability to the homeowner. However, there is no need for a separate “Pool insurance Policy.” In fact, pools are covered under normal home insurance policies.
Home insurance policies provide two types of coverage: 1) damage to your home and other structures on the premises and 2) liability protection in the event that someone files a lawsuit against you. As a pool-owner, your liability increases dramatically and your insurance policy should reflect this and protect you.
If someone is injured while in or around your pool the liability portion of your home insurance policy will pay the expenses of your guest’s medical costs. Even if someone uses your pool without your permission and is injured, you can still be held responsible for their injuries.
Most commonly, home insurance policies include at least $100,000 worth of liability but the Insurance Information Institute (III) recommends that, due to the increased risk involved in pool ownership, homeowners should increase their liability coverage to between $300,000 and $500,000. Increasing your liability coverage is as easy as placing a call to your agent and is relatively inexpensive to add. Such an increase would only add about $50 to your annual premium.
Not All Pools Are Equal
Insurance rates through a home insurance policy vary depending on the type of pool and its features. An in-ground pool is rated differently than an above-ground pool. Other factors such as slides, diving boards, fencing and locking gates are also taken into consideration, as is the location of the pool itself—for example, if it is visible from the street-view of the house, etc. Your insurance agent can help you determine what factors will be considered.
Pool Safety Saves Lives
In the United States, nine people die every day from drowning. Adolescents between the ages of 15 and 24 and children under five are at the highest risk of drowning and more that 43,000 people are injured in and around pools each year. Five thousand children are hospitalized annually due to unintentional drowning incidents.
The statistics underscore the fact that while pools can be a great enjoyment, they are also a very high-risk danger. To help you, your family and guests avoid accidents associated with your pool we suggest implementing these safety practices:
If this is your year for a swimming pool, take the plunge. Just make sure that your insurance company works with you to insure safety for you and your guests.
Access to the pool area should be restricted by fencing the area to discourage use without your knowledge.
Install non-slick surfaces around the pool area and enforce a “No Running” zone.
Never leave children in or around the pool without proper adult supervision, even for a few seconds. Even turning your back on a child can be a potential danger.
Keep children away from pool filters. Make sure filters are compliant with federal anti-entrapment regulations.
Make sure that all pool-users know how to swim. Beginners can buddy up with a better swimmer.
Don’t swim alone.
Keep electrical devices away from the pool or other wet surfaces
Drinking and diving don’t mix. Keep alcohol away from the pool and don’t let anyone who has been drinking use the pool.
Stay out of the pool during storms or bad weather.
Do not dive into an above-ground pool or into the shallow end of an in-ground pool.
Don’t swim if you are tired or have just finished eating.
Always have a phone readily accessible for emergencies.
By Matt Reynolds - Google+