Having a pool is a fabulous and fun investment for your home. However, pool ownership comes with certain responsibilities. There are expenses involving cleaning, care, and general maintenance. You also need to consider the increased cost regarding your homeowners’ insurance. So, before you even break ground, you should consider how owning a pool will affect your homeowner’s insurance.
In fact, most individuals mistakenly believe that their present homeowners’ insurance policy will automatically cover the installation of an in-ground or above ground pool, and that is simply not the case. Remember, that if your insurance company discovers that you’ve installed a pool which is not covered by your policy, they will most likely drop you, or you’ll be required to pay penalties. In certain cases, your insurance company might even sue you for not informing them of your decision to install a pool.
Benefits of a Homeowners Policy which Includes Pool Coverage
If you are fortunate enough to have a homeowners insurance policy which offers pool coverage you’ll benefit greatly from its protection. If an individual suffers an injury in or around your pool, you’ll have the benefit of liability coverage. Keep in mind that the coverage may not cover all costs, especially if there is a civil lawsuit against you. It is strongly recommended that you consult with your agent to see just how much liability coverage you’ll receive in the event an accident occurs. You may even wish to increase the coverage or add an umbrella policy to help cover any costs which may be incurred.
Factors That Can Affect Your Coverage
The type of pool and any additions can affect your premium. For instance, is your pool an above ground or in-ground? Both require coverage, but the above ground’s premium will be less. If your pool comes with a diving board, a slide or other add-ons your premium will go up, and in some cases, your coverage may be denied.
Even if your above ground pool has fencing, or if you install a fence around your in-ground pool, you will still be liable if someone sneaks in without your knowledge and gets injured. Keep in mind that this coverage is only for injuries to individuals who enter your pool, no damage done to the pool itself. If you wish to add coverage for any damage done to the pool itself, you’ll most likely need a different plan for that.
A Word About Pool Installation
Installation of a pool is not something you should just hand off to anyone. Make certain that those who install your pool are professionals and have the proper insurance themselves. A professional installer will be insured and fully bonded. Also, ask them how many years they’ve been in business and if you may contact previously satisfied customers for a reference. You must also take the initiative to check local and state laws. Each of the 50 states has regulations regarding pool fencing and signage which is to be placed in every pool after it is installed. You must follow the regulations, and place the proper signs and fencing around your pool.
Being the proud owner of a backyard swimming pool is not only fun but also a responsibility. Before you commit to either an above ground or in-ground pool, it’s strongly recommended that you look into local regulations, as well as make most certain that the installation will be completed by professionals who are licensed, insured and bonded. Talk to your agent with regards to your homeowner’s policy, and see how much your premium will increase. Discuss fencing, locks and if an umbrella policy will be a good addition.
Also, inquire if a separate plan is necessary to cover damage done to your pool. All of this should be completed prior to the installation. Remember, that if you keep your pool a secret from your insurance company, you may face a penalty, a lawsuit, or they may simply drop you. All things said and done, a pool is a wonderful investment which can increase the value of your property, as well as offer you years of enjoyment.