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Pool Insurance: What You Need to Know About Liability

A pair of young men watch a third young man dive into a pool from a nearby wall in a dangerous stunt.

If you own a pool, pool insurance is a must have to help protect your family and financial future in the case of an accident. Pool liability needs to be properly managed and mitigated to protect what you’ve worked hard to build. While many pool owners assume that their pool is covered automatically by their homeowners policy, this isn’t always the case. Some policies may exclude pools without an additional policy or rider. Other policies may provide coverage, but not in the amounts that are appropriate for true financial protection. Here’s how to talk to your insurance agent, evaluate your policy, and make sure you’re getting the right coverage and price.

The Reason For Pool Insurance

Insurance is designed to provide financial coverage in the case a certain, negative event would cause a large financial burden. WHen this event occurs within the specifications of your policy, the insurance pays out an amount meant to lessen the damage it causes to your financial well-being. There are two main reasons people with pools need to make sure they’re covered:

  • Hazard – This part of insurance coverage is meant to help repair or replace the pool in the event it is damaged. While pools are usually (but not always) safe from hail, tornadoes, and flooding damage, earthquakes and destruction from debris can be a major concern. The pool insurance policy pays for the repair or replacement cost of your pool, less your deductible, to help offset the financial cost of getting your backyard oasis back in the game.
  • Pool Liability – Accidents happen, and if they happen in or around a pool, they can be catastrophic. Liability insurance helps pay for the costs necessary to “make someone whole” after an injury happens related to your pool. This can cover the medical costs and in some cases pain and suffering of an injured party.

What To Look For In Your Policy

When discussing your pool insurance needs with your agent, there are several terms that you need to be familiar with as they come up:

  • Coverage Limits – This is the maximum amount paid for a claim. Your policy may specify this limit is per occurrence or for the life of the policy. Life of the policy means that once you with the coverage limit, it’s done paying, even for future incidents if you continue to keep your policy in force. Per occurrence means once you reach that limit during a particular event, the policy will pay no more for that event, but may still offer coverage for future incidents.
  • External Structure – If your policy labels your pool an external structure, that means that while your policy may have some coverage, it may not be covered as part of your home. You’ll want to ask if there is a percentage paid, or how it would be covered should repair or replacement due to a covered event be needed.
  • Exclusions – This may exclude your pool from being covered, necessitating stand-alone pool insurance, or it may exclude certain events from coverage if conditions aren’t met, such as not covering drowning injuries if you don’t maintain pool safety fences or safety covers.
  • Replacement Value – This is the cost to fully replace your pool in the event it is destroyed, and it is one of the coverage limits on your policy. This is how much the insurance company will pay to repair or replace the pool, less your deductible, and it has a large impact on the cost of your pool insurance policy. Lower replacement values equate to lower pricing, but can leave you left without the money to fix your pool if the worst happens.
  • Discounts – Discounts are simple. You do things a certain way, belong to the right group, or install the right safety features, and your insurance company gives you a lower price as a reward. Everyone loves discounts. With pools, the right safety features could help you get them.

Two small girls splash each other in a pool

Why Your Pool Means You Need More Insurance

Insurance companies see one thing when they look at a pool: liability. Having a pool increases the risk of certain types of injuries and accidents. While many homeowners policies offer pool coverage, it may not be enough, and the pool insurance companies know that, which is why they design packages that offer additional coverage for your pool. In addition, you may be able to raise the limits and improve your coverage on your homeowners policy to get a coverage level that truly protects you.

As an example, a standard homeowners policy that covers pools may offer a $100,000 of liability coverage per person per event to help cover medical bills and lawsuits if you’re sued after someone falls into an unattended pool. Injuries, pain, and suffering can easily reach beyond that amount in emergency room and ambulance costs alone. To better protect yourself, You could talk to your agent about raising the limits on your homeowners policy. If they can’t raise it to an acceptable level for a reasonable rate, you might consider buying dedicated pool insurance or an Umbrella policy that covers any liability up to the maximum of the policy.

Likewise for hazard limits, the same disaster that destroys your pool could damage your house, so a coverage limit that allows for one or the other to be fixed isn’t in your best interests. You want to make sure your hazard limits will repair or replace both your house and your pool, or once again, you may need to raise those limits or choose dedicate pool insurance to make up the difference.

You’ll want to work directly with a knowledgeable insurance agent who can help guide you to the right coverage type and amount to make sure your protection. Be sure to talk to them about your pool’s safety features, or ask how adding safety features, such as fences and covers, might affect your premium. In some cases, upgrading your pool’s safety can end up paying for itself.

Lowering Your Risk

Pool insurance is all about lowering risk, and that’s a cause close to our hearts. We’re proud to help our customers create safer pool areas with removable pool safety fences that help them retain their beautiful pool landscape and pool safety covers and nets that provide a physical barrier to help keep a person in distress entering the water. If you have any questions about creating a safer pool space, call our experts at 866-651-POOL. Protect your friends, family, and pets with A Safe Pool today.

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5 Preventable Things That Can Happen In a Pool When You Aren’t Looking

A boy floating in a swimming pool

Pools can be a lot of fun for the whole family, and the best pool safety products help you make sure that fun isn’t marred by accident or injury. By adding safety features like child safety pool fences, you can create a safer environment that helps you monitor your pool area and keep it safer. Many pool emergencies are almost entirely preventable, but no one can be vigilant continuously 24/7/365. That’s why finding the right safety equipment for your pool area is so important.

Mitigating Risk

Pools offer unique hazards not found with most other home features. The majority of drownings for children under 4 happen in home swimming pools, and in one study cited by the CSPC, 70% of those drowning victims were not expected to be in the pool area. Kids are small, fast, and curious, making the perfect storm for overworked parents who find their attention split in a dozen different ways. The best pool safety products help make up for these gaps in attention by lowering the risk that a momentarily unsupervised child (or unauthorized adult) might end up being injured by your pool.

Common Preventable Pool Accidents

Sometimes all it takes is a few moments unsupervised for an accident to happen. These are a few of the most frequent hazards that lead to preventable water injuries.

  • Slips And Falls – Kids love to play chase one another, shove and tag one another, and even wrestle, but around the pool it can lead to disaster. A slip or fall can dump a child directly into the deep end of the pool, which they may not be ready for. A surprised inhalation as they unexpectedly fall into the water can fill small lungs with water. Either of these scenarios can be a nightmare.

    A bigger threat, however, may be if they fall and hit their head on the edge of the pool. They can easily be concussed or lose consciousness, and end up in the water and unresponsive. Even if they land safely away from the pool, a fall could lead to bumps, bruises, cuts, and lacerations that can end a fun day of swimming on a sour note.

  • Unauthorized Pool Access – If you don’t have child safety pool fences installed, there’s nothing to stop any kid from accessing your pool without supervision. Kids are naturally brave, bold, and often too curious for their own good. A child may end up in water that is far above their skill level, be hurt by pool equipment, or otherwise end up in an area you’re not expecting them to be, hurt and afraid.

    In addition, kids, teens, and young adults could enter your yard to access your pool if you don’t have it secured by the best pool safety products. While they may be in an area where they were not given permission to be, in many cities and states, you can still be held liable if they are injured in an unsecured poolTwo kids in flotations aids swimming in a pool

  • Inappropriate Objects In Or Near The Pool – Only toys and accessories designed for swimming should be in swimming pools. Lawn furniture, food, and inside toys should be kept out of the pool by an adult. While these objects may be safe to use by kids on dry land, they can represent different challenges to kids already unused to navigating the water.

    The most dangerous culprits could be electrical devices which have no business being around the pool. Shock or electrocution can happen if water mixes with electricity, and it doesn’t take much of either to injure a child. While battery-operated toys pose less risk to pool users (but may not survive the encounter), plugged-in electrical equipment–like the chargers used for tablets, phones, and computers–or extension cords should stay clear of the pool area.

  • Pets In The Pool Without Supervision – More than just our 2-legged children can end up in a dangerous pool situation. A pool that’s not secured with the best pool safety products can easily allow unintended access to the family dog or cat. Once in the water, they can become tired quickly, and may struggle to get out at the edge or locate stairs or ladders that can help them escape. When making your pool area safe for human children, don’t forget the family pets too.
  • A Distressed Swimmer Needs Help – Even if you do everything right, an accident can happen while your back is turned. Whether it’s a coworker who’s had a little too much sudsy refreshment at your annual summer pool party or a child who becomes tired in the deep end and can’t call for help very loudly. It only takes a moment of inattention for things to go bad.

Preventing Pool Injuries

Most of the above can be prevented entirely or have their severity reduced by appropriate supervision of the pool area, but you can’t spend 24-hours-a-day sitting by the edge of your pool. That’s where the best pool safety products can help. The installation of child safety pool fences and pool safety covers can help make sure your unsupervised pool stays safe and secure. Removable safety fences and safety covers provide a physical barrier to keep friends, family, and pets from entering the water and can be a vital tool that helps prevent accidental drowning injuries.

Made of material designed to stand up to the elements and resist ripping under stress, they’re the best pool safety products to help you create a safer pool environment. Whether you have to run inside for a moment or you aren’t planning to use the pool for a few days, professionally installed safety covers and fences limit access to the pool when you aren’t going to be able to supervise the swimmers. Just ask for people to clear the pool area, and latch the gate or engage the cover. Your pool is off-limits and your guests, children, and pets are safer.

Get A Safer Pool Today

It all starts with a phone call. Reach out to our customer service department to speak to an expert about your pool needs. We’ll walk you through the process and make sure you’re getting the best pool safety products for your pool area. Contact A Safe Pool for your child pool safety fences today.

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The Hidden Dangers of Swimming Cramps, and How to Avoid Them

A swimming pool overlooking a lush mountain

Swimming cramps can be debilitating, especially in less-experienced swimmers who may find themselves suddenly hobbled in an area of the pool at the edge of their swimming level. Abdominal, calf, and foot cramps while swimming are all common occurrences that are part of growing as a swimmer who’s familiar with the way their body moves and responds in water. Understanding why they happen and how to prevent them is an important part of this growth that will help you swim at a higher level and make your pool experience safer and more comfortable.

What A Cramp Is

At their core, swimming cramps are violent, uncontrolled muscle spasms that lead to painful contractions of a muscle or muscle group. It can be spasmodic, flexing and relaxing rapidly and painfully, or a single, lasting contraction that will not relax. These contractions can interfere with the rhythm of your swimming, throwing off your timing at best, or can be severe enough to impede muscle function and create a dangerous situation in deep water.

Cramps happen when the signals your body sends to your muscles begin to become jumbled. Several distinct situations can cause this.

  • Dehydration – When you don’t have enough water, your body stops working efficiently. Waste products aren’t eliminated from cells fast enough; meanwhile nutrients and oxygenated blood are slower to arrive. This can degrade muscle performance and cause an electrolyte imbalance leading to swimming cramps.
  • Electrolyte Imbalance – Even if you’ve been drinking enough water, not eating foods or drinking beverages rich in electrolytes can lead to cramps. These salts help your body communicate with itself properly, and if they’re out of balance, so is the communication to your muscles.
  • Lack Of Conditioning – Particularly in foot cramps while swimming, muscles and tissues that become fatigued due to over use or when you’re not used to using them can develop micro-tears, such as in the plantar fascia of your foot. In addition, the body has not trained itself on how to process exertion in the area, leading to a lack of sufficient circulation bringing much-needed oxygen.

A swimming pool with flotation toys floating in the water

What To Do If You Get Swimming Cramps

Get to safety. Your first concern should be removing yourself from a dangerous situation. If you are near an edge that will allow you to get out of the water, you should do so. If you are in deeper water and not near an edge or ladder, make your way as safely as possible to one so you can exit the pool and work on the cramp. If swimming is impossible, attempt to float yourself to the edge of the pool. Some cramps can be gently massaged out, while others may take additional attention.

How To Prevent Cramps

The easiest way to fight through swimming cramps is to not have them in the first place. The first step of avoiding cramps is understanding the conditions in your body that lead to them, then taking active steps to mitigate those conditions.

  • Stay Hydrated – The first step to avoiding cramps is making sure you’re staying hydrated. This includes drinking plenty of water, but can also mean getting electrolyte-rich sports drinks that give your body the salts it needs for better performance. There are plenty on the market, so do your research and find the one that works best to support your body’s needs.
  • Eat A Healthy Diet – Well fed muscles perform better and get fewer swimming cramps. Aim for a balanced diet that includes plenty of protein to help you build stronger muscles, healthy fats to support proper revery and cell growth, and carbs that provide ready energy for your muscles to use while swimming. This should also provide a wealth of vitamins and minerals your body can break down and put to use in helping it stay healthy and active.
  • Train Your Body Patiently – Because swimming is considered low-impact, many people don’t take the time to acclimate their body to increased activity. Whether you’re just starting out, getting back into a regular routine, or taking your routine to the next level, it’s important to start slow and work up to your goals. This helps you avoid overworking your body and helps prevent injuries.
  • Take Time To Stretch – Stretching is important for any exercise or sport regimen, and it can be a vital part of keeping swimming cramps at bay.
    • Plantar Fascia – Stand with one foot directly in front of the other, heel to toe, with your front toes slightly elevated on a step, platform, or the like. Bend both knees slowly until you feel the stretch in the bottom of your leading foot. Slowly straighten your knees to your starting position. Repeat with both feet twice. This is perfect is you frequently suffer from foot cramps while swimming.
    • Soleus – This stretch helps work the back of your lower leg and helps ease both foot and calf cramps. Lean forward against a wall with your feet heel to toe. Bend both knees, lowering yourself while keeping your heels on the floor until you feel the stretch. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat twice for each leg.
    • Gastrocnemius – This stretch works your lower leg from heel to knee. Lean against a wall with your feet in the same position as before, but this time as your front leg bends at the knee, keep your back leg straight and heel planted firmly on the ground until your feel the full stretch. Return slowly to the starting position and repeat twice with each leg. This really works through your calves to prevent swimming cramps in those muscle groups.

Safety First

Swimming can be and healthy, fun way to exercise. Just make sure you’re listening to your body and staying safe. We’re always ready to help you create a safer pool area with removable pool safety fencing and pool safety covers. Contact A Safe Pool today for a safer pool for your family.

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Properly Marked: The Safety Signs You Need In and Around Your Pool

A pool padder painted in contrast and warnings not to dive on a pool edge

Pool safety signs are an important safety feature that should be found near every pool. From water safety signs that supply generalized information to more specific signs meant to notify swimmers of important safety equipment, they serve a vital purpose that is too often overlooked. When properly displayed, these signs can help make sure your wet and wild fun doesn’t end in a preventable accident.

Why Signs Are Used

Pool safety signs are an efficient mode of communication. Giving a tour and briefing to every person every time they use your pool isn’t practical (or fun), but posting signs with the relevant information is a simple way to give the safety information needed in an obvious, yet unobtrusive format. Generally, signs fall into 3 main categories:

  • Rules – Every pool has rules. From the ubiquitous and kitschy “This is our pool” sign to the standard Pool Rules sign found at most public pools throughout the country, rules signs are meant to convey general advisories about the expected pool use and conduct for friends and family.
  • Hazards – Hazard signs advise swimmers of irregular dangers or specific dangerous areas they need to be aware of. Often posted to advise of conditions, situations, or equipment that could cause injury or harm under the wrong circumstances.
  • Locations – These water safety signs let people know where important equipment, items, or features can be located. This can help avoid confusion in an emergency situation.

Where Signs Should Be Posted

Pool safety signs should be prominently displayed where they are easily seen. Many people like to post rule signs near the gate of their pool safety fence, that way anyone entering the pool has a chance to see them. Hazard signs and location signs should always be placed in a visible area near the important area they are meant to draw attention too. Signs should be checked regularly to make sure they are still easily read and haven’t been faded by the elements.

A No Diving sign on the edge of a pool

Important Pool Safety Signs

While there are many signs available, the right strategy for each pool is unique. A sign needed for one pool may not be needed for another. There are, however, some common signs that have a place in most pool areas.

  • The Rules – A general rules sign is always a good idea, as they tend to lay out general advisories based on common sense pool safety. This can help swimmers understand best practices to help keep them safer.
  • No Diving (In Shallow End) – Diving into shallow water can result in injury, paralysis, or death. A diver can easily impact the bottom of the pool, causing immediate damage. Many people choose to paint this sign around the pool edge, but then extra care should be taken to ensure it stays clear.
  • Exits – In an emergency, low-profile ladders or stairs may be difficult for swimmers to identify quickly. Use contrasting paint or clearly printed water safety sign to help them find their way out of the pool in a hurry.
  • First Aid Kit – Every pool area should have a well-stocked first aid kit close at hand that’s ready for everything from bumps and scrapes to CPR. This pool safety sign lets people know immediately where to find it.
  • Rescue Equipment – From floatation aids to grab bars, if a swimmer is in distress, others need to know where the life-saving equipment that can help prevent drowning is located.
  • Electrical Hazards – Water and electricity don’t mix. Electrical devices and open wires should never be near the pool, but if you have a hazard in the general area, it’s important to mark it clearly. Your guests will need to know to avoid puddles or dripping swimsuits anywhere near it.
  • Slip/Fall Hazards – From loose cement to gravel or painted cement that becomes slippery when wet, slips and falls in the pool area can be dangerous. The unforgiving concrete can easily cause lacerations or more severe injuries, and someone who injures himself before slipping into the pool is at immediate risk of drowning injury.
  • Mechanical Hazards – If your pool area has machinery, such as an automatic pool cover motor, it should be clearly labeled to avoid pinch injuries from untrained operators attempting to operate it incorrectly.
  • Pool Safety Cover Control/Shut-Off – If you have an automatic pool safety cover, make sure the location of the control and any safety shut-offs are known. This can prevent accidental activation which could lead to someone becoming trapped under the water.
  • Emergency Pump Shut Off – While modern pools are built with anti-entrapment drain covers, you’ll still want to clearly mark the location of your pump’s control and/or shut-off with a pool safety sign. In the event someone’s body, suit, or equipment becomes trapped by the suction of the pump, it is vital that the shut-off can be activated quickly.
  • Pool Feature Controls – If your pool has a slide, ramp, fountain, or other additional feature, add a water safety sign to inform users of its control location. This not only increases safety, but fun, as responsible, experienced swimmers can help you monitor and activate these features as needed.

Advertise Safety

Pool safety signs help make safety a priority in your swimming fun. If you have questions about creating a safer pool area with removable safety pool fences or safety pool covers, contact our experts today. Keep your backyard oasis accident-free with A Safe Pool today.