Many homeowners insurance companies cover above-ground pools; however, some exclude them. Therefore, it’s essential to check whether your insurance company accepts above-ground pools. If not, the pool coverage may be excluded, leaving you with no coverage for the pool itself and any liability associated with it. Of course, you can change insurers to one that covers above-ground pools, but you have to inform the insurer that you have the pool and pay any additional premium required.
Insurance companies categorize home swimming pools as “attractive nuisances”. They are attractive because they enhance a property, provide convenient recreational opportunities, and are an excellent option for exercise. On the other hand, pools can lead to big insurance claims. In addition, a covered peril, such as a storm, fire, or other disasters, could damage or destroy a pool and its equipment, leading to more significant property damage claims.
Liability is more concerned to insurance companies than property damage when it comes to pools. Injuries and drownings occur regularly. In fact, 11 people drown each day in America. Home pools are of particular concern because young children sometimes access the water without adult supervision, with tragic consequences. Large lawsuits result from pool accidents, so insurers charge higher premiums to cover the liability.
Pool Safety Requirements
Finding a company that covers pools is the first step toward obtaining the coverage you need. Many insurers require homeowners to install specific safety features to qualify for pool-related liability coverage. Without compliance with these standards, any claims for pool-related liability face denial.
The specific safety measures needed depend on the insurance company. For instance, many insurers mandate that policyholders erect a fence around above-ground pools. Also, a lockable gate on the fence is relatively standard. The fence and lockable gate keep children away from the pool when adults are absent, a huge priority for parents and insurance companies.
In addition, many above-ground pools come with detachable ladders. These can be a big help in qualifying for a policy and keeping premiums low. They provide the option of removing the ladder to restrict access to children and other parties that might be prone to accidents.
Most standard homeowners insurance policies provide $100,000 in liability coverage. Insurers and homeowners base this amount on the average liability claim for a home without a pool, which is less than $100,000. However, liability claims related to pools average well above the average. For this reason, insurance pros recommend increasing liability limits to at least $500,000 if you have a pool.
Pools: Structural Elements or Personal Property?
Insurance companies consider below-ground pools and permanent above-ground models as structural elements. Therefore, if they sustain damage, they are covered under the same category as your home. However, removable above-ground pools count as personal property. Insurers reason that because the homeowner can pack up and take a nonpermanent pool, it is personal property. Therefore, you may need to adjust your personal property limits accordingly.
Above-ground pools make summers fun and exciting for the whole family; however, they come with increased liability risk. Most insurers provide coverage, but you must declare the pool on your policy and pay an additional premium. It is also recommended that you raise liability limits. In addition, insurers often require safety features to help keep kids safe, such as removable ladders, fences, and gate locks.