Standard home insurance usually covers swimming pools, but how they're covered depends on whether your pool is above-ground or in-ground. Above-ground pools are usually classified as personal property, while in-ground pools are considered other structures. These differences affect coverage limits if a claim is filed for damage to the pool.
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Are pools covered by home insurance?
Home insurance covers your pool against damage and liability. If your pool is damaged by one of the covered perils in your policy, your home insurance will pay for it to be repaired or replaced up to your coverage limits. If someone is injured in your pool, your policy will pay for medical bills and legal fees up to your limits.
Which part of your policy covers your pool depends on whether it is built above ground or is installed in the ground.
Above-ground swimming pools are covered under the personal property section of your home insurance policy. Home insurance policies usually cover personal property from 50% to 70% of your dwelling coverage, including your pool. For example, if your home is covered for $350,000, your personal belongings may be covered for up to anywhere between $87,500 to $262,500.
Your home insurance policy covers in-ground pools under the other structures section. Other structures coverage also includes:
- Detached garages
Other structures coverage has significantly lower limits than personal property. The limit for other structures coverage in a standard home insurance policy is 10% of your dwelling coverage. This means that if you have $350,000 in dwelling coverage, your pool may be repaired or replaced up to a maximum of $35,000. The lower coverage limit is offset by the fact that in-ground pools are less likely to be damaged by perils such as wind or falling objects.
Exclusions to swimming pool coverage
While home insurance covers a wide variety of damage to your pool, it doesn't cover everything. No home insurance policy covers damage from natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods, but you can buy separate policies that cover these perils.
As for pool slides or diving boards, your home insurance company may consider them too high-risk to cover and exclude them.
It's important to know that home insurance only covers sudden and accidental damage. This means that if the pool is damaged by a falling object, it should be covered. However, if the pump breaks down due to old age, it would be excluded.
Furthermore, it should be made clear that your home insurance liability coverage only applies to guests and child trespassers. If you or a family member is injured in the pool, your health insurance would cover the costs.
If you install a brand-new pool, you'll want to notify your insurer by the time it is completed, at the very latest, in order to make sure it is covered under your policy. Otherwise personal property or liability claims involving the pool may be excluded.
It's a good idea to notify your home insurance company before the pool is finished so you can adjust your policy before it is used. If your home insurance premium seems too high after you add the pool to your policy, take this opportunity to compare quotes from multiple companies. You may find better coverage and a better rate.
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Attractive nuisance liability
Home insurance companies consider elements such as swimming pools and trampolines attractive nuisances. This means they are parts of your property that may encourage children to trespass and use them. This puts you at risk for being responsible for any medical costs or legal fees that may result.
While the attractive nuisance doctrine only applies to children, you could still be responsible if a guest is injured in your pool. Trespassers are a different story. You are usually not responsible for adults who trespass and get injured in your pool.
In addition to local laws and regulations regarding pool safety, your home insurance provider could require safety measures, too, such as a fence.
Standard homeowners insurance policies usually have $100,000 in liability coverage. While this may seem adequate, a long hospital stay or prolonged court case could eat through that amount quickly. We recommend increasing your liability limit to at least $300,000, and to $500,000 if your budget allows.
If your home insurance company won't increase your liability coverage, consider buying a separate umbrella policy to add to your liability coverage.
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