Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Pool Damage from Ice?

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After the summer months dwindle away and the incoming cold comes in, it is important to drain your pool. Pool damage caused by ice is not covered under homeowners insurance, because damage could have been prevented by draining the pool.

Homeowners Coverage for Pools

When looking at your homeowners insurance policy, swimming pools fall into the detached structure category. Because the vast majority of pools are not physically attached to your home, any coverage for pools will come from the detached structure portion of your policy.

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When it comes to your pool as a detached structure, any damages that you are eligible to receive compensation for must be a covered peril. In most homeowners insurance policies, covered perils include damages brought on by theft, fires, lightning, wind, and hail. Not all natural disasters are covered events, and should there be a concern you may want to add flood and earthquake coverage to your policy.

Pool Damage

When it comes to possible damages done by ice to your pool, the only chance you have at getting compensation is if damages were done by really large hail. This is very unlikely, which leads to the more plausible cause of damage done by ice: the water in your pool froze.

A routine part of pool maintenance is draining and filling your pool. While you could probably get away with not draining your pool every year if you live in a hotter environment, draining your pool is a necessity for places where it gets cold. The rules of water are simple: when water gets really cold it freezes and expands. If water doesn’t have a place to go it will find a way, which often leads to damage to your pool.

As a general rule, homeowners insurance does not cover damages brought on by a lack of maintenance or care. Draining a pool is a part of its maintenance and damages that occurred because the water in the pool froze could have been prevented by simply draining the pool at the end of the season.

Ways to Prevent Pool Damage

Beyond draining your pool each season, there are alternative ways to prevent freezing and to protect your pool from other sources of damage.

  1. Moving water does not freeze: If the water in your pool is moving it is not going to freeze. By warming your pool, you can prevent the pool from freezing as long as the water is over 32 degrees.
  2. Keep your pool covered: Getting a cover for your pool can help to lock in heat. This can help to prevent ice damage, but if temperatures do get really cold, your pool cover is also in danger of being damaged.
  3. Keep your pipes pumping: Circulating water prevents water from freezing and prevents your pipes from freezing. The last thing you want to deal with is a damaged pool and frozen and now broken pipes.
  4. Angle yout jets: As stated earlier: water in motion tends to stay in motion, while water that is at rest has the potential to freeze. By angling your jets upward you can help facilitate the direction of the water towards the top of your pool to prevent the top from freezing (remember water freezes from the top down).

Other Sources of Pool Damage

Beyond freezing waters, pools can be damaged in a variety of ways (there has to be a downside to the amazingness that pools are). Here are other things to look out for when it comes to the safety and security of your pool.

  1. Pool collapse: While a freezing pool can certainly cause a pool to collapse, pools can also collapse from age, improper installation, and wear and tear.
  2. Water contamination: Winds, storms, and your children can bring things into your pool that should not be there. Water contamination can easily happen and attack your filtration system. To help prevent that, make sure to use a pool cover, and make an effort to not let things that don’t belong in your pool make it into your water.
  3. Overflow: Flooding and overflow can cause damage to the structure and water quality in your pool. Make sure to keep water levels where they should be at and take special note of that during the winter.

Also Read:

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Above Ground Pools?

Does An Above-ground Pool Increase Homeowners Insurance?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Frozen Water Pipes?

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Andrew Lee is insurance content writer and editor for Andrew holds a Bachelor's degree from Ryerson University and has extensive experience of writing content for financial websites. His expertise is especially strong in home and auto insurance.