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How does a swimming pool affect homeowners insurance rates?
Swimming pools can be a fun, valuable addition to your property. However, they can bring about some unique insurance implications. How are swimming pools covered under your homeowners insurance, and how much extra can you expect to pay in annual premium? Find the answers to these questions and more below.
Home insurance and swimming pools — table of contents:
- Do swimming pools raise your insurance rates?
- Does homeowners insurance cover a swimming pool?
- Keeping your swimming pool safe
- How much does swimming pool insurance cost?
- Homeowners insurance and swimming pools: considerations
Having a swimming pool will almost certainly increase your homeowners insurance premiums. Swimming pools — along with items like trampolines and playground equipment — are what’s known as attractive nuisances. They earned this title in part because, while they may be enjoyable additions to your property, they can also be dangerous and potentially lead to expensive claims payouts.
In most cases, your home insurance policy will cover your swimming pool in two ways: other structures coverage and liability. Other structures coverage applies if the actual physical structure of the pool is damaged. Your homeowners liability coverage also applies to the pool, covering you against injury claims that could arise through its use. Read on to see more about each coverage type in detail.
Is your swimming pool covered against physical damage?
Most permanently installed above ground pools and in-ground pools are considered “other structures.” This means that a pool will be covered against the same perils as a structure such as an unattached shed. Pool damage can occur in many ways. For example, if a storm causes a tree to fall that damages your pool, that damage is likely to be covered. Check your policy documents to see what perils you are covered against.
Your insurance provider will not cover damages that arise due to normal wear and tear. For this reason, it’s important to regularly maintain your pool to keep it in good shape. Also, if your pool is temporarily-installed or otherwise portable, it will likely be covered by your personal property coverage instead. Remember: your personal property coverage can protect things like pool furniture that are damaged by covered perils.
Swimming pools and liability insurance
While most home insurance policies will provide coverage for damages to a pool, your liability coverage is also a crucial aspect of your coverage. If a guest is injured in your pool, you could be held liable for both medical and legal expenses. Even if that guest was uninvited, you can still be held liable for their injuries. As such, it’s important for swimming pool owners to take a number of precautions to keep unwanted guests away.
Your home policy’s medical expenses coverage can also apply to guests injured on your property. However, these limits may not be high enough to fully cover the costs of an injury.
How much liability coverage should you have?
The Insurance Information Institute suggests that pool owners should increase their liability protection to levels between $300k and $500k. If you have a high-value home or other significant assets, you should consider raising these levels even higher.
One great way to increase your coverage is to purchase an umbrella policy. Umbrella insurance works in conjunction with your home insurance policy by increasing the liability coverage limits of your underlying homeowners insurance to more adequately protect you against liability claims.
Swimming pools raise your home insurance premiums because they have the potential to be dangerous. Minimizing your risk can help you prevent unnecessary injury or insurance claims, which can ultimately keep your insurance premiums lower. Below are some safety tips from the Insurance Information Institute that could help keep you and your guests safe while enjoying your pool.
- Build a fence: Enclosing your pool within a fence can help deter unwanted guests from using your pool without your permission. Also, make sure that gates have locks.
- Post rules: Posting and enforcing safety rules could help protect guests. Also, post the pool depth if your pool has a diving board.
- Post emergency telephone numbers nearby: Make sure that anyone using your pool has easy access to numbers of emergency services.
- Learn to shut off filters: Pool filters and other mechanical devices associated with pools can be dangerous. Make sure to post instructions for shutting them off in case of an emergency.
- Make sure pool users (especially children) can swim: Getting swimming lessons for your children is a great way to reduce the chance of injury or drowning.
- Don’t leave children unattended: Children should always be supervised when in the pool.
- Don’t swim in adverse weather conditions: Dizziness can result from excessive heat, which is dangerous near a pool. Similarly, you should not swim during lightning or thunderstorms.
Keep in mind that your city or your insurance company could have further eligibility requirements. This could include having a deck around your pool area for instance. Also, some homeowners policies won’t cover a pool that is left empty. Check with your city and your insurance agent to see your insurer has any special requirements.
The average cost for a homeowners insurance policy for a home with a backyard pool is $1,226, which is predictably greater than the national average. Below you'll find average home insurance rates for a swimming pool from many of the top homeowners providers.
AVERAGE U.S. HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COSTS IN 2020
|Annual Rate with a Pool (w/ or w/o slide)
If you are thinking of installing a pool on your property, it’s always a good idea to let your insurer know. They can help you determine the coverage level that is best. If you are searching for better or cheaper insurance coverage, The Zebra can help. The Zebra allows you to compare rates from multiple insurance companies at the same time, giving you the chance to find the right policy for your needs. This way, you and your family can enjoy your swimming pool knowing that you are properly covered.
Compare homeowners insurance options today.
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About The Zebra
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.
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