If you are considering either an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool, it’s a good idea to call your home insurance company first. The pool will likely have an impact on your homeowners insurance. Pools are a liability and, like trampolines and treehouses, are an “attractive nuisance,” meaning a homeowner is liable for any children who use the pool, whether they have permission or not.
Owning a pool is one more thing to cover with insurance, and that could require increasing your coverage amount or adjusting it. Homeowners insurance typically covers the pool itself, but a damage insurance claim could fall under one or more components of the policy.
How much having a pool will increase a homeowner’s insurance premium will depend on the type of pool and the insurance carrier. Here is what you should know before installing a backyard pool:
Does homeowners insurance cover pool damage?
It usually does, but in-ground pools can create a home insurance conundrum. For example, some home insurance companies include in-ground pools in the replacement cost value of the policy. Since many in-ground pools cost $20,000 or more to install, increasing the replacement cost value by that amount will cover any damage but will increase the amount of your home insurance premium.
Other companies consider the pool to be an external structure that is detached from the home but doesn’t come under the policyholder’s personal property. If this is the case, the pool must be declared and listed on the policy, just like any other external structure. Since homeowners policies often cover external structures up to 10% of the replacement cost of the home, you may need to buy more coverage if the value of the pool exceeds those limits.
With the liability concerns of a pool, should we even get a swimming pool?
Homeowners insurance with a pool provides liability protection for pool-related incidents. The coverage includes medical expenses or lawsuits as a result of an injury or death to others. Since swimming pools are considered to be an attractive nuisance, as mentioned earlier, property owners are liable for any children who use the pool.
With hundreds of children drowning in swimming pools in this country each year and many more being injured, the liability protection in the homeowners policy must be adequate. Most policies include $100,000 of liability protection, but policyholders with swimming pools are advised to purchase as much as $500,000 of pool coverage by either increasing the policy limits or purchasing a separate umbrella policy.
What are the primary swimming pool insurance requirements?
Nearly everyone can have homeowners insurance pool coverage if the pool meets the safety requirements of most insurers:
- It cannot have diving boards or slides
- It must have a minimum four-foot fence with a locking gate, either around the pool or the entire backyard
- It may not be empty but must always be filled with water
If your pool meets these requirements, you will most likely get coverage.
How much does having a pool increase homeowners insurance?
Once you decide to add a pool on your property, you can anticipate that your homeowners insurance premium will go up. How much it rises will depend on certain factors, such as where you live and where the pool is located in relation to the house.
Since a pool increases your risk, especially on the liability side, you can expect your insurance premiums to increase. You’ll need to up your liability limits—most insurance experts recommend going from $100,000 of coverage to $500,000. In states where pools aren’t standard, the increased coverage could add $50 to $75 annually to the premiums. In warm areas where insurance companies often plan on residents having pools, such as Miami, Florida, the increase may be less.
Keep in mind that in coastal areas where a hurricane could cause damage to screened in-ground pools, it would be a good idea to purchase pool cage insurance to cover the damage. Florida residents can protect their pool’s hurricane enclosure with an endorsement to their policy. The enclosure typically is not covered by that part of your policy that protects your pool.
An experienced insurance agency, such as White Cloud Insurance, can provide you with all the details of the impact a pool will have on your homeowners insurance, plus they can furnish any quotes you request.
White Cloud Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Miami, Florida, representing some of the finest and most reputable insurance companies in the country.