Homeowner's Insurance Coverage For Your Swimming Pool

Insurance Blog

Although homeowner's insurance usually won't pay for damages to an in-ground swimming pool in your backyard, your policy's personal liability coverage should pay medical costs for anyone other than a household member who may get injured in the pool. Even then, certain stipulations or exclusions typically apply. With drowning the fifth leading cause of accidental death each year for individuals of all ages, you need to know if your homeowner's coverage from a place like Bell Insurance Inc extends to your swimming pool.

Covered Perils

Since a swimming pool is considered separate from your main dwelling, it's generally covered under the other structure part of a standard homeowner's policy. The insurance pays to repair or rebuild physical structures on your property that are damaged by a covered peril. The key is whether the damages are due to a peril named in your homeowner's policy.

Perils Not Covered

Ground movement, which isn't a peril covered under a standard homeowner's policy, is often the cause of cracks or other damage to in-ground swimming pools. Therefore, the policy won't pay for repairs or replacement of the pool. Some policies will cover damages to pool equipment if the loss is related to vandalism, theft, or lightning.

Liability Coverage

While personal liability coverage pays the medical bills for individuals injured on your property -- even if the person was swimming in your pool without your permission -- it also protects you against lawsuits. Your policy will not pay for pool-related injuries you or a family member may suffer.

Policies normally set a limit on the dollar amount the insurance company will pay for an accident. Depending on that limit, it may be necessary to increase your liability coverage. Otherwise, if someone gets hurt and files a liability claim against you that exceeds the amount of coverage you have, you will be responsible for paying the difference.

An alternative to adding extra liability coverage to your existing policy is to buy an umbrella policy. Umbrella insurance is a policy separate from your homeowner's policy that pays up to the amount specified in the policy. An umbrella policy will also pay for attorney fees if someone sues you.

Exclusions May Apply

Many insurance companies have stipulations when it comes to insuring homes with swimming pools. Most require that the pool area be completely surrounded by a fence and secured by a pool gate latch.

Some insurers won't issue a homeowner's policy for a home that has a pool with a diving board or slide. Others will issue a policy, but you must sign a home insurance exclusion that states the company will not provide coverage for injuries related to the diving board or pool slide.


31 March 2015

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