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.
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.