Pool owner’s guide to insurance

6 minute read Published on Jun 5, 2021 by BrokerLink Communications

Pool owner’s guide to insurance

Summer’s here! As a pool owner, it’s the season you’ve been waiting for; so blow up the floaties, dust off the noodles and get ready to make your big splash!

Nothing beats hanging out by the pool on a hot summer day. Before you dive in, review your insurance policy to make sure your coverage is up to date. Do you have the right swimming pool insurance coverage? In this blog, we’ll guide you in the right direction so you have the insurance needed to cover your swimming pool. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy your fun in the sun to the fullest!

Swimming pool and home insurance

It’s important to tell your insurance advisor when you make any upgrades to your home, including newly built structures on the property and definitely when adding a swimming pool.

Depending on your home insurance policy, you may be covered financially from certain incidents, but a swimming pool comes with very specific rules and coverage so it’s important to discuss your insurance needs with an expert advisor.

Types of pools

The type of pool you have - above ground or in-ground – will affect the insurance coverage you need, for example:

  • Above ground pools are often considered personal property as opposed to a permanent structure. This is because you could drain it out, pack it up, and take it with you if you decide to move. You could even sell it. So, if it’s damaged, you won’t receive the same amount of financial protection as if it was considered a permanent structure.
  • In-ground pools are generally considered an “other structure”. This means you must purchase additional coverage to protect it from damage. How much it will cost to do so depends largely on the cost to replace your pool.

Things to Consider Before Building a Pool

If you are considering building or installing a pool in your backyard, first check with your city or municipality to understand the regulations surrounding pools in your area. During your research, you should:

  • Look for what they define as a pool. The definition of a pool can be different depending on the pool’s size and depth.
  • Go through the appropriate application and approval process.
  • Consider additional safety requirements, such as building a fence with a latched or locked gate around your pool – whichever is dictated by law.

If someone gets hurt accessing your pool without your permission, you may not be held responsible for that person’s medical bills. But, this could depend on whether you’ve followed local laws and have the required safety measures in place. If your self-latching gate wasn’t working properly and a neighbourhood kid wandered in and was injured, you could be held liable for negligence.

Situations in which you’re legally responsible for injuries to other people can be costly. Having liability insurance for your pool is a must to pay for related costs, like medical expenses or legal fees.

Pool insurance coverage

Swimming pool insurance isn’t a product you purchase on its own. It’s usually something that’s added to your standard homeowners policy as a separate floater, and includes the following:

  • Coverage A – Dwelling, or Coverage B - Other Structures, depending on whether your pool is above ground or in-ground.
  • Personal Liability: in case you are sued for an incident involving your swimming pool.
  • Property damage to other people's property, e.g. caused by an overflow or leak.
  • Medical payments to cover others hurt in or near your swimming pool.

There are two things to keep in mind when it comes to swimming pool insurance coverage:

  1. What are the covered incidents with the policy? If your pool is damaged by a risk not listed in your policy, your insurer may not help you. You will probably need to pay for everything out of pocket. This applies to either above ground or in-ground pools.
  2. Whether your policy states that your dwelling or personal property protection is for actual cash value or for replacement cost.

The following are some of the incidents you may be covered for, with the proper insurance policy in place:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Windstorm
  • Hail
  • Explosion
  • Theft
  • Riot
  • Aircraft
  • Falling objects
  • Vehicles not owned or operated by you
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Freezing of plumbing
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Electrical current
  • Weight of ice, snow, or Sleet

Tips to help prevent pool accidents

Practice these helpful tips to keep your pool safe:

  • Have a fence around your pool with a lockable gate
  • Don’t allow diving in shallow areas
  • Get CPR training
  • Supervise children in and around the pool at all times
  • Never get into a pool alone
  • Avoid using the pool during a thunderstorm
  • Avoid letting anyone indulge in reckless behaviour
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or taking drugs and swimming
  • Keep the area around the pool clear of toys and furniture to prevent tripping
  • When the pool is not in use, remove all toys and flotation devices to prevent children from trying to reach or play with toys
  • Always have a phone nearby to call for help if necessary
  • Ensure all children who have not yet learned to swim are wearing appropriate safety vests
  • Understand that floating toys do not count as safety devices
  • If you have an above ground pool with a ladder, remove the ladder when the pool is not in use
  • When there is a cover over the pool during the winter months, don’t let children or pets near it
  • Remember: your pool is just as dangerous in the winter months as it is in the summer months

Broker pro tip:

Never leave a child alone in a swimming pool - even if it is a kiddie pool.

Do I need an Umbrella Insurance Policy for my pool?

Adding umbrella liability coverage is a great idea! For homeowners with swimming pools, this coverage is highly recommended, mainly because pools pose greater-than-usual risks compared to other areas around the home.

Umbrella liability insurance provides liability coverage in addition to your homeowners policy limits, for injuries that occur in or near your pool. Your insurance advisor can help you determine if adding umbrella insurance for your pool is a good idea for you.

Swimming pool insurance for you

Contact BrokerLink insurance to get the right insurance coverage for your pool! A BrokerLink insurance advisor will take the time to understand your specific needs so they can customize your insurance policy. Find a local broker near you today!

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FAQs for Swimming Pool Insurance

Does a pool slide or diving board affect my homeowners insurance?

Having a slide or diving board may increase your premium, as these items may be considered an additional risk. To ensure you’re properly covered, speak with your insurance advisor.

Am I required to put a fence around my pool?

Yes, and you must check with your local municipality to ensure you’re following the guidelines and the law. When you speak to your insurance advisor, advise them about the fence, so they can ensure you are covered properly.

Is my pool covered if it’s rarely maintained?

It’s in your best interest to maintain your pool as this can help save you money for costly repairs. Maintaining your pool will also help ensure it is safe for you and your guests to use.