Pool Insurance

Pool insurance is purchased to cover homeowners in the event of financial obligations resulting from an accident occurring at or in a swimming pool, or for damage to the structure of the pool.

For the purposes of homeowners insurance, a pool is an "other structure" and so is seen as an appendage to the primary structure, which would be the residence. "Other structures" is the term given to buildings and other construction on the general property. Some coverage programs specify that they must not be in use for business.

Homeowners insurance covers the property owner in the event of damage to the home or other structures on the property, such as in this case, a swimming pool. It also provides liability protection in case someone is injured while on the property. The same general guidelines for safety and maintenance apply to these other structures as are applicable to the primary structure, the dwelling.

In the case of a pool, additional safety requirements will almost certainly be required.  So make sure you have all the necessary information to write a policy for your pool and begin a search today.

Damage to the Pool

Because the pool is considered a separate structure even if it is adjoining the dwelling, any damages to it are estimated as a percentage of the value of the house. Generally insurance companies use the ten percent of the value of the dwelling, but homeowners can negotiate higher percentages as they consider necessary and as insurance companies will allow. This means that the pool will be valued at that percentage of the value of the dwelling and any damage to it will be compensated only to that amount.

The pool will be covered for the same perils as the rest of the property, unless otherwise specified. Due to the very nature of pools, insurance carriers will generally never carry insurance on swimming pools against freezing, thawing, or the weight of ice or water.

Liability Issues

Pools carry a substantial liability by their very nature. Insurance carriers are aware of this and can be finicky about applying coverage. Swimming pools can present very grave dangers if they are inadequately supervised and regulated. The insurance agent will insist that the pool complies in every detail with civil building codes and ordinances, and that safety rules and regulations are enforced at all times. They will require safety equipment. For example, if there are small children living in the home or who are known to visit regularly, the company can refuse coverage until and unless certain barriers are installed. City ordinances might also require that a fence or barrier be installed as a deterrent to, and protection for, persons who might use the pool unlawfully.

Homeowners with swimming pools should carry the highest possible liability coverage they can, for their own financial protection and for the goodwill of their insurance company. It is usually possible to purchase a separate, stand alone "umbrella" liability policy for the pool with a higher coverage limit than the homeowners insurance would sustain, and a good agent will most likely recommend this. Otherwise, increasing the coverage over the entire property as far as is possible or recommended is another way to achieve a similar end.

There are a number of less intrusive protective measures that can be taken to keep pools safer and reduce the risk of injury or death. Instituting them could also bring reductions in the premium. Some of these are raised edges along all sides of the pool, lighting in strategic areas, and ensuring that the swimming pool is covered during the winter or off season. Pool insurance agents might also offer other specific safety measures that they would like the homeowner to observe.

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