If you're installing a pool, you know that there's a lot of planning involved. When you're busy comparing pool liners or learning what French drain systems are, you probably look forward eagerly to the time when you'll be able to just lie in your pool and relax. But if you want to be able to really relax and have peace of mind, make sure that you make checking your homeowners insurance a part of your pool planning.
Damage To The Pool
To find out what sort of coverage you already have for damage to your pool, look in your policy under rules for "other structures" – these are the same rules that apply to sheds and detached garages. Usually, the coverage for these structures is capped at a percentage – often ten or twenty percent – of the amount of coverage for the home itself. This part of your policy will also tell you what types of damage are covered.
If you're worried about damage to your pool, these parts of your insurance are negotiable, so ask your insurance agent about what it would cost to increase your coverage for detached structures.
Damage From The Pool
When it comes to homeowners insurance, your pool also creates liability issues. If you or someone in your family jumps into the shallow end and sprains an ankle, you're hardly likely to sue yourself. But if someone outside of your family is hurt using your pool, there's the possibility of legal liability.
You may think that no one would ever sue you, but insurance companies can't afford to be so optimistic – they've seen it happen many times before. Because of this, it's very important to ask your agent whether your insurance's liability coverage will extend to your pool. If it doesn't, you can negotiate separate "umbrella" liability coverage for your pool; you can also renegotiate your entire liability coverage, but this is likely to be more expensive.
Ways To Raise Safety And Lower Premiums
One of the most important things that your insurance company is going to want from you is for you to be in compliance with any local rules and regulations about pools. This is important because, if you're not, this fact can be used to deny your insurance claims.
Beyond that, there are some ways that you may be able to lower your premiums. The safer your pool, the happier your insurance company will be. Ask your agent whether any of the following could lower your premiums:
- Installing secure and difficult-to-climb fencing around the yard or the area of the yard containing the pool.
- Making any gates in your pool fencing into self-latching gates.
- Adding extra lighting to the pool area, especially motion-sensitive lighting.
- Getting a sturdy pool cover, especially an automatic pool cover that will cover the pool whenever it's not in use.
By making sure you have the right coverage and you understand it completely, and by making sure your pool is as safe as you can make it, you'll be able to lie back and rest easy in your new swimming pool.