Pool owners generally worry about pool installation costs and routine maintenance. Hardly do they ever wonder how much a swimming pool affects their homeowners’ insurance policy. Before you proceed to install an above-ground pool in your backyard, here’s all you need to know about homeowners insurance policies related to swimming pools.
“Does an above-ground swimming pool affect one’s homeowners insurance policy? ” has been one of the most commonly asked questions among pool owners. There’s however no straight answer to this question. A number of factors come into play in this case. For instance, the kind of insurance policy you have applied for, what does that policy include and exclude, etc. determine the extent to which one’s insurance policy is likely to be affected.
Usually, every insurance company provides coverage against property damages and losses from an above-ground pool. Different insurance companies provide different kinds of insurance coverages with varying terms of the agreement. Pool owners must be aware of what their homeowners’ insurance policy excludes and includes before signing the agreement.
The right person to contact before deciding on matters related to your swimming pool would be your insurance agent. Anyway, you have to inform your agent about your decision to set up a swimming pool in your yard. Therefore it’s better that you discuss extensively about the various homeowners’ insurance policies and what coverages they provide.
In this guide, we have discussed in general how installing an above-ground swimming pool affects one’s homeowners insurance policy. If you intend to set up a pool soon, this guide is sure to be useful.
Does An Above Ground Pool Affect Homeowners Insurance?
Yes, having an above-ground swimming pool affects one’s homeowners insurance. An above-ground pool is likely to increase the owner’s liability risk, therefore, the insurance premium increases if you have an above-ground pool in your house and want it to be covered by your insurance policy.
If the swimming pool isn’t attached to your house, you may exclude it from coverage. In that case, your insurance rate wouldn’t be affected.
In general, one may expect a rise in the insurance premium, if there’s a backyard swimming pool installed. The exact rise in the amount varies according to the insurance company you have chosen.
There are other factors as well that affect the rate of insurance. For instance, the safety measures, size of the pool, coverages included in the policy and precautions that you plan to take are some factors that result in a potential hike in your insurance rate.
When you include your above-ground swimming pool in the list of coverages, any pool-related accident will be taken care of by the company. This means, the insurance company will bear the cost of the damages caused, medical bills and legal expenses if any.
Like we already mentioned, the exact rise in the premium amount cannot be predicted. Homeowners are advised to have a thorough discussion on this with their insurance provider.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover An Above Ground Pool?
Yes, usually homeowners insurances include coverages against swimming pools. However, the type of coverage provided by the insurer depends on the type of swimming pool you have.
In-ground swimming pools either fall under the dwelling or structures category of a home insurance policy.
Above-ground pools are either covered under the personal property section or structures section.
Some insurance companies like to consider an above-ground swimming pool as an attractive nuisance, meaning that the insurer considers the pool to be a potential risk. If you have added a swimming pool to your house afterward, you must disclose it to your insurer and follow the steps to conclude its coverage in your insurance policy. If not, the insuring company can declare your claims null and void or can cancel the insurance policy altogether, if it finds out later.
Most of the homeowners insurance policies include coverages for structures present in your house. The above-ground swimming pool also falls in that list of structures, if you haven’t listed it as an exclusion specifically.
Now, you must be wondering what if your swimming pool is covered by the insurance policy. If it is, the company will bear the expenses caused by pool-related accidents.
However, sometimes companies insert an exclusion clause in the agreement, according to which the swimming pool gets excluded from the list of coverages. In that case, you may have to get additional coverage done and that’s when the insurance premium amount rises. Therefore know what you are signing for.
How Above Ground Affects Your Homeowners Insurance?
An in-ground or above-ground swimming pool is usually categorized under the other structures section of a homeowners insurance policy. The other structures category usually covers fixtures present inside your property that aren’t a part of the main structure of the house. Such structure includes fences, driveway or a detached shed. The pool also falls under this category.
We advise homeowners to talk to the insurance agent directly and know how the policy works if specific replacements are required, and the repair costs in that regard.
Usually, 10% of the dwelling coverage forms the other structures’ coverage. This means, if the dwelling coverage costs around $300,000, the other structures’ coverage will be $30,000. This means that the insurer will cover damages related to the pool worth upto $30,000.
Not only does a homeowners insurance policy cover damages related to pools done caused by accidents or unfavorable weather or fire, it also protects the person’s liability in case someone gets hurt or injured while using your pool and decides to move to court for the damages caused.
You must be aware that having a pool means there’s a chance of someone getting hurt while using your pool. This means when you have a pool, your liability exposure increases and that’s where getting liability coverages also becomes important. Thus, the insurance premium rate also increases.
Below are some cases that explain how the insurance policy is affected by an above-ground swimming pool.
Personal Property Coverage
Sometimes, an above-ground pool is considered as a personal property and hence comes under personal property coverages. This kind of coverage protects your belongings. Depending upon the insurer and the policy terms, coverages include reimbursing the owner for the damages caused to the pool with cash or the replacement amount of the damaged items in cash.
Water Damage From Your Above Ground Pool
Homeowners must talk to their insurance agents regarding water damage coverages. Most insurance companies usually cover different types of water damage caused by a pool, except flood.
Since every policy is different, we would advise homeowners to talk with their insurance agent and confirm whether water damage coverages are included and does the policy cover damages from the flood.
If flood isn’t included in the policy, homeowners necessarily have to pay some extra amounts to get coverage against flood. Only then can they file for an insurance claim, in case there’s a flood.
According to insurance companies, swimming pools are an attractive nuisance, meaning structures that put someone at risk or endanger their safety. Therefore, when a person owns any kind of pool, it means the person becomes liable for accidents that are likely to happen, irrespective of whether the injured person had permission to use the pool or not.
Every insurance policy provides liability protection, irrespective of the kind of pool. If your insurance policy does include liability coverages, your insurer will bear the cost of medical treatments because of injuries caused or cover legal expenses, in case the injured person takes the matter to court.
Usually, homeowners insurance policies include a minimum of $100,000 for liability coverages. We would advise homeowners to increase this amount and include at least $500,000 for liability coverages. Though increasing the amount increases the premium rate, it’s definitely worth the investment.
Where there’s a swimming pool, there’s a risk of drowning involved. Drowning can also cause sudden deaths which is why insurance companies are currently becoming wary of residential pools. The cost of treating a drowning victim is huge, which is why it’s important to include coverages against drowning in your insurance policy.
Above-ground pool collapse
An above-ground pool collapsing is a pretty common incident. Most homeowners do not care to ensure whether the pool is level and therefore continue to use an unlevel pool. With the pressure of water rising on one side, the swimming pool collapses ultimately.
Now the problem that arises is when the insurer refuses to believe that it’s an accident and there’s no negligence of the owner involved. If the insurer finds out that the accident could have been avoided, the company wouldn’t cover the damage.
Above-ground swimming pools usually do not collapse on their own, if they are leveled and proper care is taken. Every insurer expects homeowners to perform regular checks on their pools to ensure their longevity. If the pool collapses due to the owner’s negligence, the insurer wouldn’t come to your rescue.
Therefore, when signing the insurance policy, you must be aware of your policy limits. We have already mentioned that dwelling coverage is only 10% of the other structures’ coverage. Now, if the cost of repairing the damaged swimming pool exceeds the maximum amount, the owner has to foot the rest of the bill.
The Bottom Line
No doubt adding an above-ground swimming pool makes your summer more fun and enjoyable. However, with fun and enjoyment, comes the risks of having an above-ground swimming pool. Therefore, being an owner of a swimming pool, you should have proper insurance coverage against the damages caused by a pool.
When adding an above-ground swimming pool to your homeowners insurance policy, you must go through the top to bottom of the agreement. You must have a thorough discussion with your insurance agent regarding which insurance policy is more beneficial.
Remember no two policies are the same. Therefore, you must pick the one that’s giving the maximum coverage in return of your investment. Also, check if there are hidden charges added or some exclusions in the policy papers, and make sure you are aware of them before signing the papers.
Not all insurance policies cover an above-ground pool. If your insurer doesn’t, you might have to add it with some extra charges. We would also advise homeowners to consider the idea of getting an umbrella policy done. It’s more economical in the long run. Besides that, homeowners mustn’t forget to add additional liability protection along with the list of coverages their insurer is providing.